North Sumatra’s Action Plan for Sustainable Palm Oil is Mainstreamed into the Regional Medium-Term Development Plan of North Sumatra

MARCH 30,2021

Medan - The North Sumatra Province Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Forum (FoKSBI) held a coordination meeting with the North Sumatra Regional Development Planning Agency (Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Daerah/Bappeda) regarding amendment to the Regional Medium-Term Development Plan (Rancangan Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Daerah/RPJMD) for 2019 – 2023 at the JW Marriott Hotel Medan, on Monday 15 February 2021.

Facilitated by SPOI - UNDP, the North Sumatra FoKSBI emphasized the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration in the implementation of Governor Regulation (Pergub) Nr 14/2020 about the North Sumatra Provincial Action Plan for Sustainable Palm Oil Plantation (PAP SPO). Mainstreaming the North Sumatra PAP SPO, which is called internalization process, into the Regional Government Expenditure Budget (APBD) is one way to ensure PAP SPO implementation by related government offices (Organisasi Perangkat Daerah/OPD) in the province.

This is in line with the Pergub mandate that the North Sumatra PAP SPO can be carried out in relevance to duties of respective OPD, streamlined into the RPJMD and funded from APBD or other legal and unbinding sources funding according to the available regulations.

Head of Economic Planning, Maritime Affairs, and Natural Resources of Bappeda, Tarsudi, said that this is the proper time for internalization. The Province is preparing the amendment considering its minus economic growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition, the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) for 2020 – 2024 hadn’t been finalized when North Sumatra RPJMD 2019 – 2023 established. Therefore, the Province needs to make adjustment according to Ministry of Home Affair (MoHA) Decree Nr 90/2019.

"Since the RPJMD document is a guideline in annual development planning stated in the Regional Government Work Plan (RKPD), the Regional Regulation on the amendment is expected to be agreed upon no later than the end of May 2021", said Tarsudi.

Representative of MoHA, Edison Siagian, through online meeting platform, reiterated that the internalization process must refer to the substantive systematics of RPJMD. Therefore, Bappeda is expected to lead the internalization process so that it can be included in the amendment during the first semester of 2021, and in the end accommodating activities related to sustainable palm oil in the 2022 work plan, including those in districts/municipalities.

"Currently, MoHA is drafting the Guidelines for the Development of Regional Action Plans (Rencana Aksi Daerah/RAD) and Regional Implementation Team (Tim Pelaksana Daerah/TPD). This guideline will be used to guide Regions in formulating a Provincial/District Action Plan for Sustainable Palm Oil (DAP/PAP SPO) and the Implementation Team. The development of this guideline refers to the existing RADs including the North Sumatra PAP SPO.

Starting March 2021, the Provincial Government is expected to provide technical guidance (socialization) to palm oil producing districts / cities in targeted for NAP SPO Implementation. The MoHA will facilitate online communication as part of their Guidance and Supervision of the Implementation of Government Affairs function,” Edison added.

Representative of Coordinating Ministry for the Economy Affair (CMEA), Edwin Mahatir, emphasized that the North Sumatra PAP SPO should be used as a reference in the preparation of district/municipal RAD. Through the preparation of RAD in provinces and districts / cities, he expected better coordination between the central and local governments regarding the development of national sustainable palm oil as an effort to create preconditions to fulfill the mandate of Presidential Decree Nr 44/2020 about ISPO Certification.

During the discussion session, North Sumatra FoKSBI recommended several points as crucial issues in plantation sector to be included in the amendment according to the RPJMD systematic.

The first recommendation is to settle the land legality of independent smallholder and companies indicated in the forest area, which is still a controversy. Hendrik Hutabarat from the Samade Farmers Association of North Sumatra emphasized the need to increase the capacity of field legal officials with the knowledge of regulations and the need for coordination between government agencies in provinces and districts in resolving land ownership status. Timbas Prasad Ginting of GAPKI North Sumatra added that one of the available solutions is to accelerate the demarcation of forest areas in North Sumatra.

The second recommendation is to accelerate palm oil rejuvenation programme (Peremajaan Sawit Rakyat/PSR) and ISPO certification for independent smallholders. This is due to the requirement that ISPO certification is mandatory for independent smallholders within in the next 4 years.

"The main obstacles for the smallholders to fulfil ISPO preconditions are including land status, availability of STD-B and SPPL, and the lack of institutional capacity. The expected OPD should provide assistance in fulfilling these technical requirements to the smallholders,” said Henry Marpaung (FoKSBI Expert Team and Director of the Koompasia Enviro Institute).

The third recommendation sustainable palm oil, a crucial issue mentioned by Dr. Diana Chalil (FoKSBI Expert Team from the University of North Sumatra).

“Through this internalization, the data that are spread across various OPD (Central, Provincial, Regency) can be integrated and accessible for sustainable palm oil-related programs. The types of information provided shall be spatial/non-spatial data, progress of the PSR, information on BPDPKS funds, etc. that aim to inform and synergize with each other in accelerating the achievement, "said Dr. Diana.

Closing the event, Tarsudi said that the recommendations for the crucial issues shall be accommodated as the base information used by the formulating team (Team Penyusun) at Bappeda to discuss the RPJMD amendment draft.

The results shall be consulted again to North Sumatra FoKSBI to ensure their suitability. By the end of May 2021, the Regional Regulation for Amendments to the 2019-2023 RPJMD will have been published and accommodate the implementation and budgeting of the North Sumatra PAP SPO through the strategic plans of respective OPD. This is an effort to fulfill the mandate of Governor Regulation Nr 14/2020.

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Writing by : Megi Wahyuni

Editing by : Andreas Rahutomo, Rini Indrayanti, Agus Hekso Proklamanto