Jakarta, 18 September 2021. Palm oil moratorium policy will expire in the coming hours. But till now, there is no official statement from the government. So far this moratorium policy is yet to show significant progress to improve the governance in the palm oil sector in Indonesia. The Palm Oil Moratorium Coalition consists of many CSOs who have concerns on the palm oil governance in Indonesia and argue that the palm oil moratorium should be extended as well as strengthened in many aspects.
Agung Ady, a campaigner at Forest Watch Indonesia said, ”We support the palm oil moratorium to be extended with notes that it has to be implemented more seriously and more transparently. The public should know more and be involved in the process, in the permit evaluation and information dissemination should reach local government on time, and no excuses of not to implement the moratorium due to those issues. The central government should be open if there are problems in the implementation. If the CSOs are involved and there is a check and balance mechanism, ensuring that nobody throws responsibility (blaming) to others and the objectives of this presidential instruction are achieved to improve the governance of palm oil towards sustainable palm oil”.
One thing that often to be missed is the responsibility on the law enforcement aspect. This regulation obliges the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to take action and/or demand compensation against the use of forests into palm oil plantations. But there is no further instruction given to the law enforcers such as the attorney and police. Moreover, there is no information open to the public with regard to the implementation of the moratorium. Adrianus Eryan, Head of Forestry and Land Division at Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) states that law enforcement becomes the relevant and important aspect if the government is serious about improving the governance of palm oil via this presidential instruction, therefore it will be more relevant and urgent for the President to extend as well as strengthen the palm oil moratorium.
Rahmadha, a campaigner at Kaoem Telapak said, “The importance of improving governance on palm oil will affect the acceptance of Indonesia palm oil in the global market. Market countries like the EU, UK, and US at the moment are undergoing their due diligence regulation to ensure that the commodities entering their market are free from deforestation and land degradation. Palm oil is one of the five commodities proposed. Kaoem analyses that this step will potentially add the benchmarking scheme imposed on the countries with historical high deforestation with more stringent reports and traceability. If the palm oil moratorium is extended and strengthened will impact the good governance and grouping Indonesia to have lower risk and easier acceptance, added by Rahmadha.
Inda Fatinaware, The Director of Sawit Watch said,” Even Though it is yet optimal, the achievement in the implementation of this moratorium should be appreciated, the improvement that visioned is still far away. If the Inpres is ended, it is worrying, forests are under threat, palm oil expansion will continue and potentially increase social conflict. We value the palm oil moratorium to be extended with the notes that all the mandate holders are seriously implementing it, having the specific target for achievement, to leverage transparency and open the chance for collaboration with multi-stakeholders toward palm oil good governance.”
Andi Muttaqien, the Deputy Director of Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM) said,”As the biggest exporter country in the world, the improvement of palm oil industry governance will be the urgent agenda for GoI in the market that currency develop towards environment friendly products, sustainable and non exploitative. The Palm oil moratorium can be one of the important scenarios developed by the government to respond to many issues of sustainability in the palm oil industry sector like the overlapping palm oil plantation with the Forests area that impact human rights issues. Another, the Moratorium Inpres is the manifestation of government responsibility and part of human rights due diligence to protect the community in the area with high Human right violation, including the palm oil plantation. Therefore it is important for the Indonesian Government to continue and strengthen this moratorium policy”.
The support for the Palm Oil Moratorium to be prolonged is also coming from general individuals in Indonesia via change.org platform entitled “ Mr. Jokowi, Please extend the Moratorium for Indonesia’s forests” with around 3,000 voices calling for moratorium extension.
On Friday, 17 September 2021, the Palm Oil Moratorium coalition sent an open letter to the President Joko Widodo to extend the moratorium. We are hopeful to see the response and decision from the government to extend it. The future of Indonesia’s forests is now in the hands of the government.
Contact persons at The Palm Oil Moratorium Coalition:
● Agung Ady, Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) | firstname.lastname@example.org | 085334510487
● Adrianus Eryan, Indonesian Centre for Environmental Law (ICEL), email@example.com, 0813-8629-9786
● Rahmadha, Kaoem Telapak (KT), firstname.lastname@example.org, 0881-0241-17796
● Hadi Saputra, Sawit Watch, email@example.com, 082154574142
● M.B. Fuad, Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM), 0856-5500-4863
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