KLK’s claims conflict with the rights of the nine tribes that live in the area, whose members have vehemently contested KLK’s right to destroy their forests and establish palm oil plantations. Both PNG Courts and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil have ordered KLK to stop work in the area.
Earlier in 2014, an executive at PT ADEI Plantation, a subsidiary 92 percent owned by KLK, was jailed for burning forests.
In January 2015, KLK made some progress by announcing it would employ the industry standard for High Carbon Stock forests. But the policy was widely criticized for not addressing the company’s suppliers, trading partners, or joint ventures, and for not committing to using the standard High Carbon Stock approach. KLK has since committed to the standard High Carbon Stock methodology, but its policy still does not bind KLK’s suppliers and partners to any No Deforestation practices, making it significantly weaker than other companies.
KLK is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Batu Kawan Bhd, which is also a palm oil producer and is not an RSPO member, is the top shareholder in KLK. Vanguard, First State Investments, and Robeco are shareholders.