In an effort to improve sustainability within Indonesia’s palm oil supply chain, global not for profit Solidaridad and the UNDP announced in July a new partnership to support the launch of the Indonesia Palm Oil Platform (FoKSBI) in several key district provinces.
The agreement between Solidaridad and UNDP, to jointly fund the establishment of regional FoKSBI platforms, comes as the government-led multistakeholder forum gears-up to hold its first national plenary session where participants from all sectors in the palm oil industry will convene to develop a national action plan focused on increasing sustainability.
Initial consultations for FoKSBI’s provincial level platforms will begin in Riau, South Sumatra and West Kalimantan in August. These local platforms, led by regional government representatives, will support the implementation of FoKSBI’s national action plan and initiatives, which include the training of smallholders in good agricultural practices, forest conservation and mapping as well as accelerating ISPO certification of smallholders.
“Palm oil farmers in Indonesia have a bright future as providers of food and suppliers of renewable energy and raw materials,” said Hendry Yang, Solidaridad’s South & Southeast Asia Palm Oil coordinator.
“Solidaridad is committed to enhancing production and trade in sustainable palm oil that is expected to achieve higher yields using less land, water and energy whilst ensuring that natural resources are available for future generations.”
Currently Solidaridad is developing a regional multistakeholder forum, the Asian Sustainable Palm Oil (ASPO) platform, which is focusing on the promotion of sustainable palm oil production and consumption in the key Asian markets of India, China and Indonesia.
“Coordinating regional palm oil buyers with national and provincial realities through FoKSBI is a very important role for the platform to play,” said Tomoyuki Uno, the UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme Asia Manager.
“Among the platform’s [FoKSBI] core objectives are strengthening the position of Indonesian sustainable palm oil within the international market. Therefore, considering China and India are among the biggest importers of Indonesian palm oil, the partnership with Solidaridad and ASPO is a major step forward.”
Solidaridad joins a growing cohort of FoKSBI stakeholders from the public sector and civil society as well as private sector participants working toward the common goal of increasing the sustainability of Indonesian palm oil particularly through supporting smallholders. Indonesia’s palm oil smallholders represent a large share of the country’s overall palm oil production managing more than 42 percent (4.6 million hectares) of the nation’s plantations.
More about FoKSBI:
The Indonesia Palm Oil Platform (FoKSBI) was set up in October 2014 by the Ministry of Agriculture to promote sustainability in the national palm oil supply chain. FoKSBI provides an open and transparent forum for all palm oil sector stakeholders - the government, the private sector, farmer communities, financial institutions and civil society – to agree and act on a common agenda that will maximise palm oil productivity, particularly for smallholders, while mitigating the negative environmental impacts.
To date, FoKSBI has held a series of working group and technical task force meetings in order to implement a government led national action plan, which will be discussed in a plenary meeting slated for the fourth quarter of 2015.
Palm oil and its derivatives can be found in thousands of products across the globe including biodiesel, soap, and confectionary. Since 1990, palm oil consumption quintupled worldwide and as a result has inspired a surge of production in Indonesia, the world’s largest producer and exporter of palm oil.
The palm oil industry has made a significant contribution to Indonesia’s economic growth. Over the last decade palm oil has become the country’s most valuable agricultural export, estimated to bring almost $20 billion dollars into the country per annum. The palm oil industry also provides a reliable income for a large number of Indonesia’s rural communities, directly employing an estimated 4.5 million individuals.
Enhancing the capacity of smallholders is key to ensuring the future of sustainable palm oil in Indonesia. Traditionally smallholders face many barriers to achieving sustainability. These barriers can include limited knowledge of good agricultural practices, difficulties in gaining market access and the use of substandard seed and fertilisers. FoKSBI, with the support of the UNDP, aims to eliminate these barriers to sustainable palm oil production thereby conserving the nation's environment as well as the ongoing prosperity of the Indonesian people.