Indonesia Asked To Counter Negative Campaigns With Scientific Proofs

JAKARTA – Indonesian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Hasan Kleib has asked the Indonesian government and palm oil industrial players to show the scientific evidences to counter the negative campaigns launched by European Union (EU).

He said that EU will continue seeking ways to reject Indonesian palm oil and they have publicized negative issues on palm oil, ranging from deforestation, biodiversity, violation of human rights, and health issues. “They will continue attacking Indonesian palm oil, if Indonesia could not show scientific evidences to counter the negative campaigns. Without the scientific evidences, Indonesian positive campaigns will not be effective,” he said.

According to him, so far Indonesia has only tried to drum up the public opinion against the negative campaigns, but never showing scientific evidences. The scientific evidences are very effective in countering the negative campaigns.

“It’s now time for Indonesia to use the scientific evidences to counter the negative campaigns against palm oil. EU will never stop attacking the Indonesian palm oil,” the ambassador said during a webinar organized by INA Palm Oil and the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) in Jakarta recently.

He said that by involving all stakeholders, from academicians to oil palm growers, the government and other palm oil industrial players, the scientific evidences can be thoroughly provided.

Ambassador Hasan said that the Indonesian permanent representative in the UN has received many reports on Indonesian palm oil and has lobbied the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be fair and not taking sides in dealing with the palm oil issue.

He also asked Gapki to increase palm oil sustainability through the certification process of Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) which has been regulated through the presidential regulation (Perpres). “ISPO certification can increase the competitiveness of Indonesian palm oil at global market. But as a regulator, the Indonesian government will never intervene in the process of ISPO certification,” he said.

Based on presidential regulation (Perpres) No. 44/2020, the authority to issue ISPO certificates is given to an institution of certification called Lembaga Sertifikasi.

He said that the palm oil industry has to be defended from negative campaigns, as palm oil is one of Indonesian top commodities which play significant role in the national economy of Indonesia, especially smallholders who own more than 40 percent of Indonesian oil palm plantations.

The economic coordinating ministry’s deputy in charge of food and agriculture coordination Musdhalifah Machmud said that based on Perpres No.44/2020 on certification system of sustainable oil palm plantations, Lembaga Sertifikasi is assigned to conduct the process of ISPO certification. “The government has only monitored and evaluated the system based on prevailing regulations and will not intervene the certification process,” she said. (*)

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