On 6 May 2021, UNDP-SPOI, a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and UNDP Indonesia, has facilitated multi-stakeholder meetings and discussions on accelerating the issuance of Cultivation Registration Letter (Surat Tanda Daftar Budidaya/STD-B). The activity aims to disseminate the STD-B policy and share experiences from several districts regarding the implementation of its issuance.
Kasdi Subagyono, Director General of Estate Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, opened the meeting by emphasizing that STD-B issuance is one of the requirements to obtain ISPO certification.
“STD-B is an inseparable part of ISPO and not merely as a complement to its administrative. It is a tool for traceability of Indonesian palm oil products in the supply chain so that it can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)", he added.
The issuance of STD-B belongs to the authority of the regional leaders (Regent/Mayor) and is not a form of permit mechanism. STD-B is intended for smallholders who has less than 25 ha of land and its processing is free of charge.
Apart from being used as part of ISPO requirements, STD-B can be used to support statistical data collection on plantations and to support the requirements for the Community Oil Palm Rejuvenation Program (PSR). The fulfilment of STD-B can also be used to obtain state (APBN) funding assistance or other funding and becomes the material for the formulation of norms, standards, procedures, and criteria for sustainable oil palm plantations.
However, there are still many field challenges on the STD-B process. One of them is the dichotomy of understanding at the local government level that understands STD-B as a data collection tool and STD-B as a licensing tool.
This was revealed from the lessons learned presentation from several local government representatives from Batanghari District, Seruyan District, Sekadau District, and Nunukan District.
Since the District Heads has the full autonomy in delegating their authority to issue STD-B, two offices usually have the main responsibility to manage STD-B based on their duties and functions, namely the office for plantation services and the office in charge of licensing issues (DPMPTSP).
The Food Security and Agriculture Service of Seruyan District, Central Kalimantan provided a brief presentation on how to process STD-B in the region. Seruyan's best practice is to include a land map as a complement to STD-B and use the E-STDB platform for digital data collection. The use of this digital platform, in general, has a relatively common process starting from data collection, administrative verification, mapping verification, and STD-B issuance.
Another experience was shared by the DPMPTSP/one-stop permit office of Nunukan District, who had experienced intensive discussions with the plantation office so that they improvised to break the deadlock between the concept of the old rules and the need to accommodate new regulations related to licensing.
In the discussion, one of the participants representing the private sector also provided opinion according to their experience with smallholder associations in several districts. The STD-B issuance for smallholders differs depending on the area so that there is an expectation to synchronize the same perception so that ISPO certification will be easier to comply with.
At the end of the discussion, Rusman Heriawan, advisor of the NAP SPO Forum emphasized that discussions related to the policy paradigm for the issuance of STD-B must be carried out immediately to obtain an agreement that provides certainty for all parties. This can be done by all levels of policymakers, both at the national and sub-national levels.
It was obvious that the brief discussion through this webinar was not enough to discuss the overall challenges of STD-B issuance. Nonetheless, all participants agreed that accelerating STD-B issuance is important as a path towards the sustainability of Indonesian palm oil within the ISPO framework.