March 8, 2019

President delivers great gift for RI’s palm oil reputation

JAKARTA ( - Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Washington-based global environmental campaign organization Mighty Earth, has asserted that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has given Indonesia a great gift for the country’s reputation in the palm oil sector.

The first component of this gift, according to Hurowitz, was the measure to legally ban any new peat development by President Jokowi in early December 2016, particularly for the expansion of the palm oil sector.

The second component, he continued, was the imposition by President Jokowi of the palm oil expansion moratorium, including a ban on the deforestation of good forest cover.

“Besides enhancing Indonesia’s reputation, President Jokowi’s gift has also improved Indonesia’s palm oil position in the global market place,” he explained with confidence.

These were among the matters touched on by Hurowitz while explaining his views on developments in Indonesia’s palm oil sector to (Mar 6) in Jakarta.

Hurowitz has led numerous worldwide campaigns over many years aimed at ensuring that the palm oil industry adopts no deforestation policies in the global palm oil trade, with Indonesia’s palm oil sector being no exception. 

The following photos show an example of recent deforestation in Indonesian Borneo, which is still ongoing. Hurowitz said that compared to five years ago, there has been a dramatic decline in deforestation in Indonesia in terms of the hectarage involved.

Hurowitz stressed that it was essential for law enforcement to be consistently responsive to back up the legally-established policies of no deforestation of good forest cover and no new peat development. 

He also emphasized that such responsive law enforcement was needed to preserve the gift President Jokowi has bestowed on Indonesia to boost its long-term palm oil reputation. 

Hurowitz went on to encourage palm oil traders to swiftly disengage from suppliers that continue to carry out deforestation and peat destruction practices.

“In addition to maintaining the credibility of their NDPE policies, this would form part of concrete efforts in support of President Jokowi’s gift to Indonesia’s palm oil sector,” he added. 

Message to GAPKI 

Hurowitz also reminded the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) that it represents palm oil players operating in Indonesia, the majority of whom have shown themselves to be good players.

He spoke of the importance of GAPKI continuing to support good palm oil players while also avoiding support for bad players that remain linked with deforestation and peat destruction.

“No deforestation of good forest cover and no new peat development, the policy measures taken by President Jokowi, represent his great gift to Indonesia’s palm oil sector, and this needs the clear support of GAPKI,” he urged.

In conclusion, Hurowitz chided palm oil companies that are still carrying out deforestation of good forest cover and new peat development, saying that they are continuing to undermine President Jokowi’s positive policies in the palm oil sector.