Explore our interactive mapping tool for a satellite view of deforestation and fires in and around concession sites of companies featured on the SPOTT scorecard. These data can support SPOTT users in conducting further research to verify whether or not company commitments are being implemented on the ground.
Use the map search bar to find specific company concessions or locations. Click the concession sites marked by pins to zoom in for more information, then go to the company pages of featured concessions to view their assessments. For more on how to use the SPOTT map, please visit our FAQs page.
SPOTT Map FAQs
What has happened to the map related indicators?
Following the GA10-Resolution 6g adopted at RSPO RT11, ZSL and the World Resources Institute (WRI) requested that oil palm growers submit their concession site boundary maps, (as well as those of their scheme smallholders) and palm oil mill locations.
Due to legal issues around publishing oil palm concession boundary maps in Indonesia and Malaysia, ZSL temporarily disabled three map related indicators for all featured companies in October 2015:
- 2.3.1. Are all of the company’s concession maps publicly available for all countries in which they operate?
- 2.3.2. Are all of the company’s scheme smallholders’ concession maps publicly available for all countries in which they operate?
- 7.1. Are all of the company’s mill locations publicly available for all countries in which it operates?
This resulted in score changes in the Landbank and Traceability categories for the majority of companies. The indicators were re-enabled in October 2016 affecting scores again and total percentage. However, ongoing legal issues around the publication of maps still remain. In light of this, numerous companies have been scored on their maps submissions to the RSPO, although this map data is not yet publicly available.
SPOTT is continuing to monitor the situation relating to the availability of maps and will update the website when more information is available.
What are the “SPOTT company” oil palm concessions data?
SPOTT features transparency assessments of 50 palm oil producing companies, and displays their concessions (where available) on the SPOTT map using data provided by Global Forest Watch from the World Resources Institute (WRI). These are divided into two layers:
- Company disclosures (purple), concessions submitted to WRI and ZSL following RSPO GA10 Resolution 6g
- Government maps (orange), concessions attributed to companies based on government data (where available)
Percentages in parentheses after each layer indicate approximately how much land (in hectares) has been disclosed or not yet disclosed by companies.
What are the “Other” sources of oil palm concessions data?
The “other oil palm concessions” layers refer to maps for either 1) concessions certified by the RSPO currently in Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, or 2) government data on concessions in Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Indonesia and Liberia. These data are provided by Global Forest Watch.
What does the transparency bar do?
The transparency bar allows you to see beneath specific overlapping layers by dragging the slider to the left.
Why are your primary forest data only for Indonesia?
As provided by Global Forest Watch, primary forest data are currently available only from the Indonesian government. Download the full dataset here. We will provide additional data as they become available.
How do the NASA fire alerts work?
Fire hotspots are detected by NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS). This tool enables growers to inform stakeholders of the cause of the fire, as well as adaptive management steps taken to mitigate against any threats and risks. We will provide additional data as it becomes available.
How do we know companies are doing what they say they are?
It can be difficult to be sure that the policies and practices companies say they are pursuing are actually being put into practice on the ground.
SPOTT features an interactive mapping tool for a satellite view of oil palm concession sites of companies on the SPOTT scorecard and elsewhere by drawing on data from Global Forest Watch Commodities. The map allows users to identify specific company concessions or mill locations, as well as protected areas, Indonesia’s primary forest cover from 2005, tree cover loss alerts since 2015, and active fires within the past week to 24 hours.
These data may offer important insights into whether companies are implementing their commitments on the ground, as indications of forest loss and fires at high confidence provide opportunities to assess if companies are complying with RSPO criteria.
If companies release their data to the public, it would be much easier to monitor the industry and determine whether companies were violating the rules of the RSPO. However, many companies have yet to disclose their concession maps.
Indonesian companies are often blamed for forest fires in the region, and in 2013 Greenpeace linked half of the fires that occurred in Indonesia to plantations, 39% of those being members of the RSPO. Greenpeace was accused of basing this assessment on incomplete concession maps, but despite growers feeling wrongly blamed, they are still resisting pressure to hand over their maps. Mongabay revealed that many growers fear that making their data publicly available will make them more susceptible to extortion, and there is now a legal battle taking place over whether concession maps can legally be handed over.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also play a role in monitoring companies against their commitments, and often work to expose companies who are not following the sustainability criteria that they have committed to. Greenpeace recently exposed an RSPO certified Malaysian grower for illegal deforestation, going against their commitments as an RSPO member. This led to the company being dropped by a number of large manufacturers, and will hopefully encourage other growers to ensure they are acting responsibly.