Investigative Environmental Journalism Grants
Increasing awareness of environmental crime issues through financial support to investigative environmental journalists
This story was supported by GRID-Arendal's Investigative Environmental Journalism Grants programme.
The world's thirst for palm oil is about to destroy Asia's largest remaining rainforest , by Peter Yeung, explored the situation in Papua, where its unique rainforest is being destroyed by palm oil companies with murky owners. The story examined and identified the threat of deforestation of more than a million hectares of rainforest, despite the Indonesian government's pledges to protect it. The investigation also uncovered how indigenous peoples across the region are being systematically denied informed consent for the development taking place on their ancestral land.
After the publication of his work in VICE and on the GRID-Arendal website in August 2021, the article was nominated as one of the best articles of the year on Papua by Indonesia's Alliance of Independent Journalists. Shortly after, a Papuan court made a landmark ruling in favour of Indigenous groups against palm oil plantations, and Indonesia's president revoked more than 2000 concession permits, including those for palm oil. The investigation was promoted widely by organisations such as Greenpeace and Human Rights Watch.
About the author
Peter Yeung is an award-winning freelance journalist who has reported from across Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America for publications including The Guardian, National Geographic,The LA Times, The BBC, Reuters, and VICE World News.
Author: Peter Yeung
Year of publication: 2021