Campaign Against Importing
Palm Oil to Make Biodiesel for Electricity

''As fires burn deep into the dry peat soil beneath Indonesia's forests, centuries of carbon trapped in the biomass are released into the atmosphere. A study presented last month at a U.N. Climate Change Conference in Nairobi showed that Indonesia is the world's third-biggest carbon emitter behind the U.S. and China, when emissions from fires and other factors are considered.''   Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2006, page A1

''The oil for ape scandal - how palm oil is threatening orang-utan survival.'' 
Friends of the Earth (2005)

''We can’t call this a ''bio-fuels program.'' We certainly can’t call it a ''bio-diesel program.'' Such phrases use the prefix ''bio-'' to subtly imply that the energy in question comes from ''life,'' in general. This is illegitimate and manipulative. We need to find a term in every language that describes the situation more accurately, a term like agro-fuel.  ... Monoculture on a grand scale endangers the environment and forces rural workers out of the countryside.  Monoculture also has an impact on global warming. It destroys biodiversity, disturbs the water cycle, and disrupts the rains, making it difficult for farmers to stay in equilibrium with the Earth. Moreover, it makes intensive use of agro-toxic fertilizers and machines. ''  Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (Brazil's Landless Workers Movement; MST)

''In the process of gathering material from colleagues and social movements around the world, we have discovered that the stampede into agrofuels is causing enormous environmental and social damage, much more than we realised earlier. Precious ecosystems are being destroyed and hundreds of thousands of indigenous and peasant communities are being thrown off their land. ...  So, following the lead of non-governmental organisations and social movements in Latin America, we shall not be talking about biofuels and green energy. Agrofuels is a much better term, we believe, to express what is really happening: agribusiness producing fuel from plants to sustain a wasteful, destructive and unjust global economy.''

Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) 
HECO - NRDC Palm Oil Sustainability Criteria Final Analysis  of  HECO  Sustainability  Criteria
(1) planning to construct a biofuel power plant Far weaker than the industry-based
Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
By KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance,  `Ilio`ulaokalani  Coalition,  Sierra Club - MauiEnvironmental Defense,   Life of the Land.
(2) to become the largest importer of palm oil in the United States
Appendix B RSPO Criteria Final Guidance with NI Document
(3) planning to convert all diesel generators to biofuel
Appendix D Dutch Truth in Advertising Verdict
(4) planning to use only biofuels to power its generators
Appendix E SawitWatch testimony
(5) to be the first electric utility in the world to use biofuels (palm oil) to produce electricity.
Appendix G BlueEarth no palm oil Testimony

Campaign Supporters
To sign on to the campaign please send
name, organization, email and county to

International Organizations International Individuals
Centre for Orangutan Protection - Indonesia
Forest Peoples Programme, United Kingdom
Friends of the Earth Australia
Proyecto Gato, Belgium
ECA Watch, Austria
ECA Watch, Paris
Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalizacion, Spain

People's Decade of Human Rights Education  (PDHRE)
Euronatura, Portugal
Urgewald, Germany
WEED, Germany
The Corner House, UK
CRBM, Italy
Friends of the Earth, France
Berne Declaration, Switzerland
Environmental Defense
Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK
Biofuelwatch, UK

Titi Soentoro, IFI Campaigner, NADI, Indonesia
Rivani Noor, Facilitator of CAPPA (Community Alliance for Pulp Paper Advocacy), Indonesian NGO network
Kasha Ho'okili Hoå, Rainforest Agribusiness Campaign, Rainforest Action Network
Simon Counsell, Director, The Rainforest Foundation UK
Peter Gerhardt, Robin Wood Campaigner Tropical Forests, Germany
Juan Reardon, National Coordinator, Friends of the MST
Stephanie Fried, Environmental Defense
Feri Irawan,    WALHI Jambi.    Jambi, Sumatera
Dhani,    Extension Programmed For Learning And Research (EXPLORE).    Jakarta 
Shaban Stiawan,    WALHI West Kalimantan.    West Kalimantan
Riko Kurniawan,    Elang Foundation.    Riau, Sumatera
Edi Subahani,    POKKER SHK.    Central Kalimantan
Rukaiyah Rofiq,    SETARA.    Jambi, Sumatera
Koesnadi Wirasapoetra,    PADI Indonesia.    East Kalimantan
Isal Wardhana,    WALHI East Kalimantan.    East Kalimantan
Rudi Syaf,    KKI WARSI.    Jambi, Sumatera
Wilianita Selviana,    WALHI Central Sulawesi.    Central Sulawesi
AW Boyce,    WALHI West Sumatera.    West Sumatera
Nordin,    Save Our Borneo.    Central Kalimantan
Irsyadul Halim,    Kaliptra Sumatera.    Riau, Sumatera
R. Adriansyah,    WALHI South Sumatera.    South Sumatera
Ahmad Zazali,    Scale Up.    Riau, Sumatera
Ardin Tahir,    Evergreen Indonesia.    Palu, Central Sulawesi
Sandra Moniaga    Individual    Jakarta
Irhaz    WALHI West Java    West Java

U.S. Organizations U.S. Individuals
Ecological Internet, Inc. (Denmark, Wisconsin)
Astris Renewable Energy Systems (ARES)
Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (SBA)
Dinda Evans, San Diego, California
Steve Sugarman, International Humanities Center, California
Mike Brune, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network San Francisco, CA, USA
Daphne Wysham, co-director of SEEN
John Shewchun, Adjunct Professor,  Wayne State University; Director, Astris Renewable Energy Systems (ARES), Birmingham, Michigan

Hawai`i Organizations Hawai`i Organizations
Buddhist Peace Fellowship-O`ahu
Ka Lei Maile Alii Hawaiian Civic Club
Hawai'i Voting Project
Hawaii Institute for Human Rights
Hawaii Pacific Energy Group LLC
Blumenberg Associates LLC
Respiratory & Environmental Disabilities Assoc of Hawaii (RED AHI)
Surfers Video Service
Kokua Council
Tuff Talk (`Olelo Show)
Ahahui Malama I ka Lokahi
The Interfaith Alliance Hawaii
GMO-Free Maui
KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance
`Ilio`ulaokalani  Coalition
Life of the Land
Hawaii SEED
Sierra Club - Hawaii Chapter
Sierra Club - Maui Group
Sierra Club - Kauai Group
Sierra Club - O`ahu Group
Conservation Council for Hawaii
The Kauaian Institute
Maui Tomorrow
Windward Ahupuaa Alliance
Church of the Crossroads, Global Warming and Energy Awareness Task Force
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Hawaii

Hawai`i Individuals Hawai`i Individuals

Carol D. Bain
Mary Barter
James Berlin
Paul Berry
Patricia Blair
Bennett Blumenberg
Kat Brady
Joy  Brann
David Brevik, CEO, Distrimatics,USA
Dr. Charles K. Burrows
Shannan Chan
Randy Ching
Joshua Cooper
Dorothy Cornell
Charmaine Crockett
Lynette Cruz
Henry Curtis
Laure Dillon, International Humanities Center
Fred Dodge
Marjorie Erway
Stephanie Fried
Isaac Harp
Ruth Y. Hsu
Lance Holter
Kyle Kajihiro, Program Director, AFSC Hawaii
David Koyle
Erica Lam
Jeremy Lam
Jesse Lam

Joshua Lam
Penny Levin
The Rev. Neal MacPherson, Pastor, Church of The Crossroads UCC, Honolulu, Hawaii
Alicia Madlener
Fred Madlener
Kristen Matozzi
Bobby McClintock
Art Mori
Jeanne Y. Ohta
Jonathan Orlowski
Kathleen Pahinui
Rob Parsons
Marilyn & Ed Pollock
Kim Ramos
William H. Sager
Carrie Ann Shirota, Esq.
Cha Smith
Barbara Steinberg-Orlowski
Anne Sturgis
Marti Townsend
Trisha Kehaulani Watson
Evern Williams
Shannon Wood
William E. Woods-Bateman
`Imiola Young
Rev. Mike Young, Minister, First Unitarian Church of Honolulu

Background: Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is currently planning to construct the BlueEarth biofuel power plant which may become the largest importer of palm oil in the United States. The response from reviewers to the proposed HECO "sustainability criteria" and the idea of importing palm oil for use as biodiesel in Hawai`i has been overwhelmingly negative. Reviewers expressed strong concerns about environmental destruction, indigenous rights and impacts on forest and rural communities and the fact that HECO proposed standards are far weaker than the international standards negotiated over several years through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil process. (1) HECO Criteria are Far Weaker than International Standards (RSPO Criteria); (2) Concerns regarding Indigenous rights, elimination of free prior  informed consent criteria; (3) Well-documented lack of sustainable palm oil supplies: industry research, independent field research, documentary film; (4) Inadequate certification schemes; (5) Dutch Cramer Commission on Sustainable Palm Oil Biofuel Standards: Do not import palm oil from Southern countries, need structural solution to palm oil problems in South prior to massive imports from the region; (6) Credibility concerns regarding claims of "converting" to local Hawai`i agricultural sources for biofuel; (7) Track record of Indonesian companies; (8) Lack of a biofuels Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement as required by state law.

We welcome your support and comments!

‘Ahahui Mālama I Ka Lōkahi. Hawaiians for the Conservation of Native Ecosystems. Our Mission: to develop, promote, and practice a native Hawaiian conservation ethic, relevant to our times, that is responsible to both Hawaiian culture and science. This ethic is protective of native cultural and natural heritage and is expressed through research, education, and active stewardship. ‘Ahahui Mālama i ka Lōhaki is a nonprofit coalition of Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians devoted to the presevation of native species and ecosystems, and the importance of their relationship to Hawaiian culture. We believe that our culture will be greatly diminished unless we support efforts to conserve native Hawaiian ecosystems and species. Our organization was founded in 1994 to provide a Hawaiian voice in favor of conservation at a time when scientists and hunters were in conflict over forest management. We serve the Hawaiian community and also offer a voice that reflects the scientific basis and resource management practices of the greater conservation community in the Hawaiian Islands.

The Berne Declaration is a Swiss non-governmental organization with 21,000 members. Through research, public education and advocacy work, it has promoted more equitable, sustainable and democratic North-South relations since 1968.

Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale (CRBM)
began its activities in 1996. The campaign works for a democratization and a deep reform of international finances institutions that are the main responsibles of the process of globalization which we lived.

Center for Environmental Law and Sustainable Development (Euronatura)
is a Worldwatch Global Partner.

Conservation Council for Hawaii (CCH) is the Hawaii Affiliate of the National Wildlife Foundation.

The Corner House, founded in 1997, has aimed to support democratic and community movements for environmental and social justice. It is motivated by the concerns of such movements, whether they be locally-based struggles for land or water rights or better health care; campaigns against destructive mining, dam or forestry projects; or struggles against racial discrimination. We aim to pay constant attention to issues of social, economic and political power and practical strategy. We try to take a "bottom-up" approach, filled with examples, to issues of global significance which are often handled in a more abstract way. As part of our solidarity work, The Corner House carries out analyses, research and advocacy with the aim of linking issues, of stimulating informed discussion and strategic thought on critical environmental and social concerns, and of encouraging broad alliances to tackle them.

ECA Watch
: An Internation NGO Campaign On Export Credit Agenices (ECAs). ECAs are public agencies that provide government-backed loans, guarantees, credits and insurance to private corporations from their home country to do business abroad, particularly in the financially and politically risky developing world. ECAs are collectively among the largest sources of public financial support for foreign corporate involvement in industrial projects in the developing world. For example, ECAs are estimated to support twice the amount of oil, gas and mining projects as do all Multilateral Development Banks such as the World Bank Group. Half of all new greenhouse gas-emitting industrial projects in developing countries have some form of ECA support. ECAs often back such projects even though the World Bank Group and other multilateral banks find them too risky and potentially harmful to support.

Environmental Defense was founded in 1967 as the Environmental Defense Fund, or EDF, we speak for 500,000 members. Environmental Defense partners with businesses, governments and citizens to find practical environmental solutions.

Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) advocates an alternative vision of how forests should be managed and controlled, based on respect for the rights of the peoples who know them best. We work with forest peoples in South America, Central Africa, South and South East Asia, and Central Siberia to help these communities secure their rights, build up their own organisations and negotiate with governments and companies as to how economic development and conservation is best achieved on their lands. Founded in 1990, FPP has grown into a respected and successful organisation that bridges the gap between policy makers and forest peoples.

Friends of the Earth is the world's largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 70 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With approximately 1.5 million members and supporters around the world, we campaign on today's most urgent environmental and social issues. We challenge the current model of economic and corporate globalization, and promote solutions that will help to create environmentally sustainable and socially just societies.

Gewaltfreie Aktionsgemeinschaft für Natur und Umwelt e.V. (Robin Wood), is an environmental organisation that was founded in 1982 in Germany. Their main environmental issues are energy, transportation and the conservation of forests.

Hawai'i Institute for Human Rights (HIHR) is dedicated to promoting human rights principles and a culture of peace through education and advocacy. HIHR advocates the use of public law instruments in implementing civil, political, economic, social, cultural, collective and ecological rights. HIHR strives for social justice in the development of a sustainable society in Hawai'i.

Hawai`i SEED, a statewide non-profit, is a coalition of grassroots groups composed of farmers, doctors, scientists, lawyers, activists, and Native Hawaiians working on 5 islands to educate the public about the risks posed by genetically engineered organisms and dedicated to promoting diverse, local, healthy and ecological food and farming that supports real food security for the Hawaiian Islands.

`Ilio `ulaokalani Coalition. In 1995, the Hawaii Supreme Court affirmed the constitutional rights of Hawaiians to pursue traditional gathering activities on undeveloped private property for subsistence, religious and cultural purposes. Within two years of the decision, the local real estate industry pressed the state senate to legislate native gathering rights out of existence with a law requiring a permit. The hula masters coalesced into Ilioulaokalani (“red dog of the heavens”) a   non-profit organization which works statewide to educate the community on access and responsibility.

KAHEA (''the call'') is a network of activists throughout the five main Hawaiian Islands. We address critical issues within our communities and 'ahupua'a (geographic and cultural demarcation from the uppermost land to the outer reef). KAHEA is a community-based organization working to improve the quality of life for Hawai‘i's people and future generations through the revitalization and protection of Hawai‘i's unique natural and cultural resources. We advocate for the proper stewardship of our resources and for social responsibility by promoting multi-cultural understanding and environmental justice.

The Kauaian Institute offers data, maps, and green economic research for the Hawaiian islands.

The Kokua Council is one of Hawaii's oldest advocacy groups. Kokua Council seeks to empower seniors and other concerned citizens to be effective advocates in shaping the future and well-being of our community, with particular attention to those needing help in advocating for themselves.

Life of the Land is a  Hawaii-based, Hawaii-focused environmental and community action group. Founded in 1970, the mission of Life of the Land is to preserve and protect the life of the land through sustainable land use and energy policies and to promote open government through research, education, advocacy and, when necessary, litigation. We believe that people are part of the environment. We are known for research, research, research. We cover complex issues such as genetic engineering, climate change, and quality of life issues. LOL is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. We do not attend fundraisers, testify for/against political and/or administrative candidates, nor do we rank candidates. We work on issues not people.

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, was founded in 1985 and is the largest social movement in Latin America with an estimated 1.5 million landless members organized in 23 out 27 states. The MST carries out long-overdue land reform in a country mired by unjust land distribution.

The Interfaith Alliance Hawaii (TIAH) has risen to be a voice for justice in our state.  It is an organization of individuals that speak from the perspectives of over 30 faith-based traditions.  TIAH is designed to create an environment in which many people and groups of good will can come together to address public concerns.  TIAH is a chapter of the national group  located in Washington, D.C. that is honored to have received a mantel of support from the former Hawaii Council of Churches.  In addition to the Executive Committee, TIAH has a diverse 25-member Board of Directors, representing many religious traditions and community groups.  Also, an Advisory Council of over 30 leaders has been formed with the purpose of providing wisdom and counsel.  The momentum of TIAH is dynamic and exciting.  Together, this uniting of diversity aims to provide a meaningful place of respect, understanding, and harmony in our land of aloha!

The People's Decade of Human Rights Education (PDHRE-International), founded in 1988, is a non-profit, international service organization that works directly and indirectly with its network of affiliates — primarily women's and social justice organizations — to develop and advance pedagogies for human rights education relevant to people's daily lives in the context of their struggles for social and economic justice and democracy. PDHRE's members include experienced educators, human rights experts, United Nations officials, and world renowned advocates and activists who collaborate to conceive, initiate, facilitate, and service projects on education in human rights for social and economic transformation. The organization is dedicated to publishing and disseminating demand-driven human rights training manuals and teaching materials, and otherwise servicing grassroots and community groups engaged in a creative, contextualized process of human rights learning, reflection, and action. PDHRE views human rights as a value system capable of strengthening democratic communities and nations through its emphasis on accountability, reciprocity, and people's equal and informed participation in the decisions that affect their lives. PDHRE was pivotal in lobbying the United Nations to found a Decade for Human Rights Education and in drafting and lobbying for various resolutions by the World Conference on Human Rights, the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Commission, the UN Treaty Bodies, and the Fourth World Conference on Women.

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is made up of 36 staff members in San Francisco, CA and in Tokyo, Japan, plus thousands of volunteer scientists, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens around the world.  We believe that a sustainable world can be created in our lifetime, and that aggressive action must be taken immediately to leave a safe and secure world for our children.  Dubbed “the most savvy environmental agitators in the business” by the Wall Street Journal, RAN uses hard-hitting markets campaigns to align the policies of multinational corporations with widespread public support for environmental protection. We believe that logging ancient forests for copy paper or destroying an endangered ecosystem for a week’s worth of oil is not just destructive, but outdated and unnecessary.

The Rainforest Foundation UK. 
An international organization working with indigenous peoples to conserve the world's rain forests and uphold their human rights.

Sawit Watch. Founded in 1998, Sawit (''Palm Oil'') Watch is an Indonesian Network with 2 dozen  member organizations. Sawit Watch has three main goals: 1). To support local and indigenous peoples' struggle against large-scale oil palm plantation companies; 2) To campaign against the IMF/World Bank's Sectoral Adjustment Loan for liberalizing oil palm plantation; and 3) To raise public awareness at the local, national and international levels on the social and environmental impacts of oil palm plantations.

The Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN), a project of the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington, DC) and the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam), works in partnership with citizens groups nationally and globally on environment, human rights and development issues with a particular focus on energy, climate change, environmental justice, gender equity, and economic issues, particularly as these play out in North/South relations.

Sierra Club is America's oldest and largest environmental organization. Maui Group ( Oahu Group (

Urgewald  is a small German environmental NGO, active on tropical forests, nuclear energy and other issues.

Weltwirtschaft, Ökologie & Entwicklung e.V. (
World Economy, Ecology and Development; WEED) was founded in 1990 and is a non-aligned NGO. It aims at strengthening awareness in the Federal Republic of Germany as to the causes of world wide poverty and environmental problems. WEED intends to concentrate the work of social movements and NGOs in a more accentuated way on the co-responsibility of the industrialised countries for the unjust world economy system and for global environment damage.

Asian Biofuels Crops Hawaii Palm Oil Petition European Biofuels Ethanol European Agrofuels Petition Latin American Biofuels
Refining Biofuels


Hawaii Food v. Biofuels
Life of the Land BlueEarth Maui Biodiesel LLC
Transgenetic Biofuels Energy Self-Reliance Imperium Renewables Inc
Biofuel Impacts Energy Blog Kauai Ethanol LLC

Climate Change Blog
Hawaii BioEnergy LLC

Proposed 2009 HECO Power Plant

Contact Information: Henry Curtis, Executive Director, Life of the Land, 76 N. King Street, Suite 203, Honolulu, HI  96817. phone: 808-533-3454. cell: 808-927-0709. Web Site: