Greenpeace says ministerís IPOP move commendable

(foresthints.news) - Greenpeace Indonesia says that the move by Indonesiaís Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, to conduct a detailed study on all of the elements of Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP) is a positive step that will help ensure that IPOP is not be abandoned.

"I think that Minister Siti Nurbayaís decision to conduct a detailed review of IPOP in its entirety is a good move. This will allow the debate on IPOP to focus on the substantive issues," Annisa Rahmawati, a Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner, told foresthints.news on Wednesday (Mar 3) in Jakarta.

The ministerís decision, said Annisa, should help avoid a protracted debate on IPOP and mounting pressure to abandon it.

"The debate is heading in an unfortunate direction. This commendable step by the minister will prevent such a debate emerging again in the future," said Annisa.

She said that Greenpeace was of the view that all of the elements of IPOP were beneficial as they would help improve the long-term competitiveness of Indonesian palm oil products on the global market.

"The statement by Minister Siti Nurbaya that all of the elements of IPOP would be studied is commendable as it will certainly help support the creation of a more sustainable palm oil industry in Indonesia. Thatís the direction in which we all want to go," Annisa stressed.

With regard to the position of the smallholders who play such an important role of the supply chains of the IPOP signatories, she said that one of the goals of IPOP was to help strengthen the capacity of these smallholders so as to allow them to continue playing such a role.

"It is clear that IPOP will not damage the interests of the smallholders. Rather, it will help strengthen their position as an important part of the palm-oil industryís supply chain in Indonesia," Annisa stressed.

She said that every challenge to IPOP needed to be studied and responded to.

"For example, IPOPís status in the context of Indonesiaís laws and regulations. Of course, this represents a challenge that needs to be studied and answered," she said.

Consequently, she said that the decision by the Environment and Forestry Minister was a prudent move that was worthy of support.

"Essentially, Greenpeace appreciates the willingness of the Government of Indonesia to conduct a detailed study on the IPOP pledge and content. IPOP needs to be consistently supported by government, both the previous government and the present government. Above all, we must not renege on IPOP. Rather, its implementation should be strengthened on the ground," Annisa said.

Pressure for the abandoning of IPOP has been mounting since the conclusion of a round of consultations with Indonesian palm oil industry players, including the IPOP signatories themselves.

The current Indonesian government decided to conduct a detailed review of IPOP as a result of the many complaints it received, particularly from IPOP signatories, due to the perceived difficulties associated with the implementation of the pledge on the ground.