RI Assuring Japan On Palm Oil Sustainability

Tokyo – The Indonesian government has shown its strong commitment to continually ensure that the country’s palm oil industry is operated based on compliance with the principles of sustainability, Indonesian embassy in Tokyo told the Japanese Working Group on Biomass Sustainability.

“The implementation of the new Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) as stipulated in the presidential regulation (Perpres) No.44/2020 has shown that the Indonesian government is really serious in ensuring the legality, sustainability, and transparency of Indonesia’s oil palm biomass,” Tri Purnajaya, Charge d’Affaires of Indonesian embassy in Tokyo told the discussion forum on the biomass sustainability recently.

Tri said that under the New ISPO concept the Indonesia government has also established an institution of ISPO certification, which is independent and nationally accredited. It has also applied the principle of traceability that allows tracing of supply chain from fresh fruit bunches up to products from the palm oil mills.

“It is expected that the 7 principles, 37 criteria and 173 indicators set in the New ISPO will meet the expectation of the Japanese government and negate all worries regarding legality of land sites, environmental protection, and child labor problem,” Tri said.

He pointed out that the New ISPO certification is mandatory, not only for oil palm plantation companies but also for smallholders. “That means all products of Indonesian oil palm biomass will be certified with the New ISPO,” he said.

“The Indonesian government is open for cooperation with partner countries, including Japan, in ensuring the feasibility of oil palm biomass as the bioenergy source to meet the goals set in the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Indonesian embassy in Tokyo will continually pursue diplomatic endeavors to convince the Japanese government to accept the ISPO certification and to increase bilateral trade between the two countries,” he asserted.

The Working Group on Biomass Sustainability is the final discussion forum before the Japanese government decides to adopt the certification of palm oil sustainability into its feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme in April 2021. The FiT scheme has driven bioenergy growth in the country in recent years. As a result of this, biomass fuel consumption has increased sharply, and ensuring sustainability has become a pressing issue.

Tri noted that during the discussion there were also other presentations from other countries besides Indonesia, which include from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), Green Goal Label Certification (GGL), and the certification scheme of Palm Kernel Shell (PKS).

The Biomass Sustainability Working Group (Sustainability WG) was established by Japan’s ministry of economy, trade, and industry (METI) and the agency for natural resources and energy (ANRE) in April 2019 and it has discussed the establishment of sustainability standards and a certification system to verify compliance with the standards. The scope of the Sustainability WG is limited to agricultural biomass such as palm kernel shells (PKS), and did not include woody biomass. (*)

Source: Wartaekonomi.co.id and other sources | Featured image via forestsnews.cifor_.org