August – Jakarta - In an effort to achieve wide-scale and internationally accepted sustainable Indonesian palm oil, the Ministry of Coordinating Economic Affairs officially launched an inter-ministerial taskforce in July to gain the President's support. The high-level team aims to achieve a Presidential Decree, which is expected to harmonise and refine existing regulations within the national sustainable palm oil standard known as ISPO.
The ISPO strengthening task force includes directors from the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture, The Ministry of Industry, the CPO Fund, the National Standard Agency, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI), the Indonesian Palm Oil Board, Indonesia Biodiversity and the Strategic Sustainable Plantations Development Forum among other institutions.
Currently, IPSO certified palm oil only accounts for around 6.4 million tons of CPO per year out of a total 31 million tons however it’s hoped with the support from a Presidential Decree, ISPO can be adopted to scale, enable documentation and certification of smallholder farmers and be accepted as a credible sustainability standard abroad.
The Ministry of Agriculture is currently tasked with the management of the ISPO secretariat and overseeing the standard’s principles and criteria. However by achieving a presidential decree, greater consistency across Ministries and laws related to ISPO are expected to follow.
Dwi Pratomo Sudjatmiko, InPOP’s Project Director who also serves as the Director of Perennial and Beverage Crops at the Ministry of Agriculture, has called on the international community to support Indonesia's efforts in strengthening ISPO. Photo:InPOP
The launch of the inter-ministerial ISPO taskforce comes after a number of multi-stakeholder working group discussions, facilitated by the Indonesia Palm Oil Platform (InPOP), produced a series of recommendations to strengthen the government’s sustainable palm oil standard. This ongoing multistakeholder platform dialogue is expected to help inform the work of the inter-ministerial taskforce as they prepare a roadmap for the ISPO Presidential Decree.
In August this year, the Indonesia Palm Oil Platform facilitated a combined-working group discussion jointly-hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Coordinating Economic Affairs to better understand the challenges facing farmers and companies when it comes to complying with the government's Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standard principles and criteria. The participants, who included representatives from the international community, also debated the barriers for ISPO achieving credibility within international markets.
Muzdhalifah Machmud, the Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture speaking with Mukti Sardjono, Expert Staff on Environment and Climate Change at the Ministry of Agriculture, during a recent InPOP event. Photo:InPOP
Speaking during the event Muzdhalifah Machmud, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs and chair of the Inter-Ministerial ISPO Strengthening Taskforce, emphasized the government’s readiness for suggestions and input from all stakeholders, both national and international, in the effort to strengthen ISPO.
“With our friends at the Ministry of Agriculture we are working together to open ISPO to all parties to criticize and improve it. We also need to consider our existing laws and regulations. I invite all of our friends to try and widen the scope... and combine our ideas.”
Watch highlights from InPOP’s ISPO multistakeholder discussion: Video ISPO Strengthening Workshop
In March 2011, the national government launched the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) requirement for plantation companies via the Ministry of Agriculture. Updated in March 2015, it aims to ensure legal adherence for palm oil plantations so that sustainable palm oil (SPO) is produced, and to support the nation’s commitment to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
ISPO seeks to contribute to a reduction in the loss of forest coverage in Indonesia. It requires the identifying and reduction of carbon stock emissions before land clearing for plantation development with the aim to reducing GHG emissions from LUC. ISPO requires oil palm plantation development in Indonesia to follow the new indicative government Plantation License Postponement Map, which means there is no planting on forested land. The certification system only provides certification for plantation companies who have legally approved land - land that is not legally approved to be converted to plantations is nominated as unsustainable and illegal.
If you would like to learn more about how you can contribute to the effort to strengthen ISPO in Indonesia or about the development of InPOP’s National Action Plan for Sustainable Palm Oil please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.