The Challenges to Europe’s Climate Commitments and Renewable Energy

The Great Reset as expounded by the World Economic Forum wants to point out a pathway towards a planet that is sustainable for all life on earth. Its bold concepts for a sustainable planet under The Davos Agenda has the support of global corporations as well as governments which is welcome news for palm oil producing countries. For too long, tropical countries have been shunted around as mere carbon sinks for global emissions with little recognition that these forest rich countries need development as well. The European Union which is most guilty of pushing this biased view on sustainability has… Read More

National Certification Schemes To Ensure Sustainability of Consumer Goods

European MEPs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new law to hold corporations responsible for the integrity of their operations.The abject failure of the New York Declaration on Forests has shown that voluntary pledges and commitments do not work.Will an EU regulation on forests and human rights do better? As quoted in The Guardian, “Lara Wolters, the Dutch MEP who acted as rapporteur, said: “This new law on corporate due diligence will set the standard for responsible business conduct in Europe and beyond. We refuse to accept that deforestation or forced labour are part of the global supply chains.… Read More

Reclaiming Sustainability With National Certification Schemes for Palm Oil

If satellite mapping could see the true impacts on the ground, it would see key indicators like falling rates of infant mortality in the top palm oil producing countries. This fact is inextricably linked to improved healthcare as these countries developed, a fact that is being ignored by “rainforest defenders” who deny the rights of forest peoples to modern healthcare. Fighting myths or fighting deforestation: the downsides of oversimplification“Stigmatising and discriminating a specific commodity or origin has not shown so far to be effective for reducing deforestation. Complex situations cannot be tackled with oversimplification, false or inaccurate allegations.” COCERAL, FEDIOL… Read More

Palm Oil: A Needed Factor in the Great Reset

There are grand visions of how developed countries must play a role in how countries develop with the upgrading of trade agreements to advance equality and sustainability in every sector. These visions are shared by the world’s top palm oil producing countries of Indonesia and Malaysia which have worked to bring development to every far-flung village in their countries so that no one is left behind. Unfortunately, a nasty impact of The Fourth Industrial Revolution for these countries is the use of technology to shame their efforts towards developed status. The European Union whose citizens have one of the heaviest… Read More

Closer EU Ties Needed To Save “Our Forests”

When it comes to saving “our forests”, the rich North with its climate experts seems to be telling the global South to do what they say, not what they do. This attitude has been a source of much discontent, mainly from palm oil producing countries of Indonesia and Malaysia who see it as neo-colonialism. Orangutan in a sanctuary place in the forest of Salat Island, Central Kalimantan. (Source: BOS Foundation) Climate experts far removed from tropical forests are guilty of this as they excited the importance of tropical forests in the global fight against climate change. What is more infuriating… Read More

Global Recovery Needs Fresh Approach to EU-ASEAN Relations

The struggle to survive the COVID 19 pandemic shows how the world is just one big village. We share different values, cultures and political views and we also draw political boundaries to separate one country from another. But the pandemic has shown us that what we do as a community will affect others. Thus, quoting Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi’s remarks at the annual press statement, we need to recover stronger together to achieve a global recovery. The European Union’s discriminatory policies and regulations on palm oil have hurt economic and political ties between the bloc and ASEAN’s palm oil producing… Read More

Shocking Falsehood Used in BBC Report on Palm Oil

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) continues to portray palm oil as an undesirable commodity which destroys rainforests, threatens orangutans with extinction, and condemns indigenous peoples to poverty. The Corporation’s position against palm oil can obviously be seen in a series of videos on its YouTube channel where sensationalized titles like “BBC Earth-Red Ape: The Palm Oil Problem,” and “Indigenous People Left with little after palm oil farms” or “How do we go palm oil free?” paint a negative image of palm oil. These reports can only be perceived as anti-palm oil. Reports like “What is Palm Oil” leads viewers to… Read More

Part 2: Stories from My Dad’s Plantation

In my first article, I told you about my Dad’s experience as an oil palm farmer in managing relationship with his laborers, facing elephants, orangutans and other wild and pest animals. This time, I would like to share how Dad and his workers manage the plants in his farm. Dad is intercropping oil palm and Areca tress Intercropping is rooted in the palm fields Back to the story of Sunar and Isah, the couple who takes care Dad’s farm. I see Isah as a smart and dilligent worker’s wife. She initiated to plant some jengol trees ( Archidendron pauciflorum), planted… Read More

Part 1: Stories from My Dad’s Plantation

“Sunar got stomped over by elephants, causing three broken ribs and four broken back bones. He needs a ventilator to breath,” Dad told me over a text message. My Dad is a palm oil farmer. He hires three laborers to help him take care of an eight hectares farm in Duri, Riau province. Sunar was one of them. Although the animals are considered as deadly pests, the palm farmers and laborers in this area agree to not kill them as they will also not allow others. Dad often fell asleep om a bed of dirt and falling leaves because he… Read More

Part 2: The EU Can Save Tropical Forests Through Multilateral Agreements

The EU wants to save tropical forests from Southeast Asia to Africa in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The current crop of politicians guiding forest and deforestation policies have highlighted the EU’s consumption of palm oil for food and fuel as a target much to the chagrin of palm oil producing countries. The anti-palm oil position adopted by the EU can only be described as discriminatory when it sidelines much bigger causes of tropical deforestation in soy and beef and ignores hunger in tropical countries as a cause of biodiversity loss and deforestation. Were it not for… Read More