Jakarta, March 2, 2022:
The CPOPC Secretariat introduced the Global Framework of Principles for Sustainable Palm Oil (GFP-SPO) to all relevant stakeholders. This second introductory webinar was well attended by participants from palm oil producing countries in the three regions of Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa, United Nations agencies, private sector, associations of smallholder, scientists, producers of other major vegetable oils, media, national and international NGOs and major palm oil consuming countries.
The resource speakers of the webinar included Dr. Agus Prabowo, Senior Management Advisor/Head of Environment Unit at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia, Dr. Shatadru Chattopadhayay, Managing Director of Solidaridad Asia, and Ziv Ragowsky, Sustainability Consultant and Agricultural Technology Enthusiast. Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Yusof Basiron, Executive Director of CPOPC, Moch. Edy Yusuf, Assistant to Deputy Minister for Estate Crops’ Agribusiness Development, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, the Republic of Indonesia, and Dupito D. Simamora, Deputy Executive Director of CPOPC, delivered opening remarks, remarks, and closing remarks respectively while Witjaksana Darmosarkoro, Director of Sustainability and Development of Smallholders of CPOPC, moderated the webinar.
The main focus of the discussion is the visible progress recorded by the palm oil industry on sustainability. This framework, which CPOPC Ministers adopted in December 2021, would further promote and strengthen the commitment and the roadmap towards sustainability standards in all palm oil producing countries based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs).
As it is not meant to be a certification scheme, the framework shall be the primary reference for the palm oil sector led by CPOPC for now and in the future. The other important aspect highlighted during the discussion is the following steps to make this framework a basis for better governance of the palm oil sector, a foundation for transformative dialogue on sustainability for all vegetable oils, and collaboration needed at regional and global levels.
Some salient points from the notable speakers and the ensuing interactive discussion summarize what this framework is all about and the next necessary steps to be taken.
Representing the UNDP Indonesia, Dr. Agus Prabowo, emphasized sustainable palm oil’s contribution to transform the food system. Dr. Agus observed that the Global Framework of Principles for Sustainable Palm Oil reflects the excellent work of CPOPC as one example in the transformation that the world needs to improve the state of the food system. He recalled the message of the UN World Food Summit “making our food system more sustainable” and asserted that it is amongst the most powerful way to change course and make progress towards all 17 SDGs. He added this distinctive’s approach and perspective is specifically addressing the SDGs is greatly appreciated.
As the support of all stakeholders is indispensable, Dr. Shatadru Chattopadhayay of Solidaridad has echoed his strong support for the framework. As the way forward, he suggested two potential pathways for the common framework to go further by involving government to government and the B to B, which can be started with a common framework on sustainable palm oil. He underscored that it is important that there has to be a level playing field for all oils and fats industries and oleochemicals in Asia, which is a point mentioned about not to discriminate palm oil against other vegetable oils. That debate should not be dated a dish. He also asserted that as dialogue should be given preference, the framework is valued provides a platform and agenda to dialogue with India, China, European Union, and other producing countries in Africa and South America.
The CPOPC Secretariat will continue to attain the ultimate goal of GFP-SPO to start a collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including other producers of vegetable oils, to make sustainability as a norm. The way forward is to co-create solutions by strengthening sustainability standards for the palm oil sector and other vegetable oils in a spirit of partnership and at the same time reject any unilateral decision on what is considered sustainable or not.
As framework is centered in UN SDGs, there is a clear need to introduce it in all relevant United Nations bodies and agencies such as the UN High-Level Political Forum at the ECOSOC in July this year. It would be a good opportunity to forge further dialogue with all parties in our common objective and goal to realize a global standard for all oils.