Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - November 17th 2015 – Today the head of Seruyan District, Central Kalimantan province, Indonesia, Hon. Sudarsono announced a landmark initiative for ensuring that all palm oil produced and processed in Seruyan District will be certified as sustainable.
Through the jurisdictional approach to certification, the government of Seruyan will implement a model of rural development that improves the welfare of the rural poor, while reducing deforestation and recognizing the rights of indigenous people. The approach starts by identifying and mitigating the risks faced by the actors along the palm oil supply chain. Companies and smallholders currently face some issues such as legality, deforestation and social conflict, which cannot only be addressed by companies or smallholders alone. These issues need to be addressed and solved at the level of the jurisdiction, supported fully by the government. Seruyan District, is one of a few sub-national governments globally who are committed to removing these risks in order to ensure a sustainable supply chain of palm oil.
The announcement was made on the sideline of the thirteenth Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) connference that was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event was organized by Earth Innovation Institute and its sister organization Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU) as the main partners of Seruyan District. The event was attended by representatives of organizations involved in the global palm oil supply chain such as palm oil producers, buyers, processors, banks, non-government organisations, donors and smallholders.
In his remarks during the announcement of Seruyan’s pathway towards jurisdictional certification, the head of the district, Hon. Sudarsono reiterated: “Our dream in Seruyan is to ensure that all commodities coming from the district, such as palm oil, are produced sustainably. By purchasing palm oil from Seruyan, buyers and consumers will know that companies and smallholders producing them without causing deforestation or degrading peatlands. They will also know that there was no burning when clearing land or seizures of indigenous lands.”
Also speaking in the event was Mr. Rawing Rambang, the head of the Plantation Office for Central Kalimantan province. In his remarks, Mr. Rambang supported the landmark announcement: “We applaud the commitment of Seruyan District to be the first pilot district for jurisdictional certification. Seruyan will be a model for other districts, not only in Central Kalimantan but also in Indonesia, for sustainable palm oil development. The Provincial Government of Central Kalimantan fully supports Seruyan District on this journey.”
To achieve the commitment, Seruyan District is working closely with several palm oil companies in the district. The companies have signed an agreement with the Government of Seruyan to accelerate the adoption of sustainable farming practices by independent oil palm smallholders in the entire district.
Some of the attendees also applauded the announcement made by Seruyan district, including Darrel Webber, the Secretary General of RSPO; Agus Purnomo, Managing Director for Sustainability and Strategic Stakeholders Engagement, Golden Agri Resources (GAR); and Simon Siburat, General Manager Group Sustainability, Wilmar.
Central Kalimantan province is a member of an international forum called the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF). Globally, there are 26 members of the GCF, that represent encompass 25 per cent of the world’s tropical forests including 75 per cent of the forests in Brazil, and more than half the forests in Indonesia and Peru. GCF searches for pathways to rural development that reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.
"Seruyan's leadership promises to usher in a new phase of sustainable rural development that brings together the power of governments and public policy with the agility and influence of companies that produce or buy palm oil. We are extremely pleased to be part of this initiative,” concludes Daniel Nepstad, Ph.D. Executive Director of Earth Innovation Institute.
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