"Since long time, Indonesia had started making efforts to build sustainable palm oil industry. As the contribution of the palm oil industry to the Indonesian economy is significant, the Government of Indonesia is interested in ensuring that the industry adopts sustainability principles," Fachir noted in the press release of the Foreign Ministry in Jakarta on Tuesday (Sept 12).
The statement was made by Fachir during the opening of a seminar "CRC990: Towards Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil" at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta on Monday (Sept 11).
The seminar was organized by the Policy Assessment and Development Agency (BPPK), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to improve the understanding of Indonesia's sustainable palm oil industry, in an effort to counter the black campaign against Indonesian palm products.
The Government of Indonesia has taken the negative campaign seriously because it poses an adverse threat to the Indonesian palm oil sector.
Indonesia is currently the largest palm oil producing country in the world. In 2016, Indonesia produced more than 35 million tons of palm oil, of which and 25 million tons was exported worldwide.
The export value of Indonesian palm oil has reached more than US$17 billion, which is about 12.32 percent of the total exports of Indonesia.
The negative campaign against Indonesia's palm oil started 30 years ago. Initially, the focus of the negative campaign was a health issue, but later it widened to various aspects, such as economic, social, and environmental.
One of the major challenges arose when the EU Parliament adopted a resolution on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests on 4 April 2017.
The resolution highlighted the linking of palm to deforestation, forest fires, ecosystem damage, and blamed human rights abuses in the palm oil sector.
In addition to the Resolution of the European Parliament, Norway's Parliament has also passed a resolution, which in essence calls on the Government of Norway to immediately issue a public procurement-related regulation that prohibits the purchase and use of palm oil-based biofuels and derivative products of oil palm.
Related to that, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to make efforts to overcome the negative campaign against Indonesian palm products through various forums, both on a national and international scale. (*)
Editor: Vicha Faradika