Palm Oil Industry Excels in Sustainability Commitment

JAKARTA – The Indonesian palm oil industry has adopted the commitment of conserving biodiversity and ecosystem through programs of high conservation value (HCV) and high carbon stock (HCS) for more than a decade. It is realized based on voluntary modes of independent certification agencies and mandatory schemes as required by the national certification bodies and prevailing regulations.

The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) Stakeholders Relations Division Head Edi Suhardi said that the oil palm plantation companies have made much more progress in reducing deforestations if compared to those in the supply chains of beefs and soybeans, which have been continually lagging behind.

“That means the palm oil industry has higher commitment of sustainability compared to other industries,” Edi said during the national webinar on “Indonesian Palm Oil More Sustainable and More Environmentally Friendly”, which was organized by Media Perkebunan in Jakarta on Monday, 07 June 2021.

Edi also asserted that in terms of forest and land fires’ prevention, the palm oil industry is the most concerned industry compared to other industries. It can be seen through their obligations to prevent forest and land fires, availability of their complete equipment units that are even more complete than others and tend to be excessive, such as fire monitoring towers, ponds and others.

“The obligations to prevent the fires among the oil palm companies can be 50–70 percent higher than other industries or the government,” said Edi.

According to him, the oil palm plantation companies are required to ensure their readiness internally and externally in preventing the fires. Their internal readiness should be at the minimum of 85 percent compliance of equipment and facilities to prevent and extinguish the forest and land fires, as stipulated in the agriculture ministry regulation (Permentan) No.5/2018. Their external readiness include commitments to open new lands without burning (PLTB) with the support of local people and village administrations and set up the fire care communities (MPA) with the local people to conduct regular patrols of fire. (*)