Indonesian Civil Society Groups for Sustainable Palm Oil Industry

Tuesday, March 21, 2017. – On the International Day of Forests, we, a group of civil society representatives released a joint message regarding sustainable palm oil industry in Indonesia through a position paper that highlights the need of active participation and transparency in the process of ‘strengthening’ the certification system for Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) that is currently being pursued by the Government.

This position paper was written to support the Government’s agenda in (i) addressing the challenge of climate change mitigation and improved governance on natural resources through the policy framework and its implementation, (ii) increase the market acceptance of palm oil as a strategic commodity and (iii) ensure the protection, respect and fulfillment of human rights.

In order to make palm oil sustainable in Indonesia we should have a common vision: put an end to deforestation in the remaining forest cover and stop the degradation of the environment and biodiversity; Ending forests conversion and improve forests protection and total protection of peat land ecosystems; and provide legal guarantees to the affected communities and respect their rights, including -but not limited- to the customary law community, local communities, smallholders and workers, significantly and consistently.

Poor credibility and accountability in the implementation of the ISPO certification, together with weak enforcement of laws against abuses, have been detrimental to the environment and led to conflict between communities and oil palm plantations, and resulted in adverse affects on the market acceptance over the ISPO.

In April 2016, President Jokowi has committed to a moratorium that could stop the expansion of land allocation for palm oil for both companies and on the pretext of the interest of ‘smallholders’. The business group and its supporters work hard to encourage principles that won’t jeopardize their expansion plan for palm oil plantation, while they use ‘smallholders’ and nationalism sentiment as excuses to shield themselves from criticism.

Unfortunately, in the process to strengthen ISPO, there has been a waiver on the agreement in terms of the role that the civil society group has, regarding the substance of ISPO principles and standards, including the removal of 2 (two) principles, namely; traceability and transparency, and respecting Human Rights. The situation clearly has undermined the ongoing multi-party process.

The improvement of ISPO certification system must be done thoroughly and the processes must be redesign in a participative, inclusive, transparent and accountable manner. The new certification system of ISPO should include robust sustainability standards and consider procedures that guarantee its credibility and accountability. ISPO certification system must be followed by effective law enforcement as well as a comprehensive policy framework to ensure the achievement of improved governance related to palm oil industry in Indonesia.

For that reason, we want to publicly declare our position to the Government and for public monitoring purposes.

Serikat Petani Kelapa Sawit (SPKS) – Lembaga Ekolabel Indonesia (LEI)-Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) – Jaringan Pemantau Independen Kehutanan (JPIK) – Kaoem Telapak – Yayasan Sumberdaya Dunia Indonesia –  Greenpeace Indonesia – Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan – Institute for Ecosoc Rights – GAIA – Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) -Padi Indonesia, Kalimantan Timur – Jasoil, Papua Barat – Uno Itam, Aceh – Lembaga Tiga Beradik (LTB) Jambi – Evergreen, Sulawesi Tengah – Yayasan Pusaka – Sayogyo Institute – Indonesia Center for Environmental Law – Kemitraan – GeRak Aceh – Stabil Kalimantan Timur – MATA Aceh – Perkumpulan Bantuan Hukum Kalimantan – PPLH Mangkubumi – JAPESDA Gorontalo – GRID Kalimantan Barat – LPMA Borneo, Kalimantan Selatan – Yayasan Peduli Nanggroe Atjeh (PeNA), Aceh – Jikalahari, Riau

Contact Person:

Soelthon G. Nanggara,, 0856 4963 8037
Marcel Andry,, 0813 1460 5024
Herryadi,, 0813 87059920
Mardi Minangsari,, 0818 100 930
Isna Fatimah,, 0813 1923 0279

The position paper can be download in this link below:

Position Paper (English Version)