ISPO-RSPO Joint-Study marks a milestone for sustainable palm oil cooperation in Indonesia

Feb 17, 2016

Jakarta, 17 February 2016. A joint-study between the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Standard (ISPO) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has been officially release today, marking a milestone for closer and effective cooperation between Indonesian and global palm oil sustainability standards.

The study on “Similarities and Differences of the ISPO and the RSPO Certification Systems” is a joint initiative, which is endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture. PT Mutu Agung Lestari, an independent certification body with competency to conduct both RSPO and ISPO audits, was appointed to perform the study.

Facilitated by The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the study represents a milestone in the formal collaboration between the two sustainability standards and has been touted as an important move toward streamlining the certification process within the Indonesian palm oil sector.

Speaking at the launch of the study, Chairperson of the ISPO Secretariat, Herdradjat Natawidjaja said, “This study marks a turning point in the international community’s effort to support and work with Indonesia’s laws and regulations relating to the palm oil sector. We are looking forward to strengthening the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil certification standard and to improve market access for the industry.”

The main findings of the study showed that both ISPO and RSPO aim to contribute to the reduction in loss of forest coverage, reduction of Green House Gas from land use change and adherence to legal requirements. However, the study also demonstrated that there are different elements contained in the requirements of the two standards. Key differences include the protected area and High Conservation Value concepts, oil palm plantation land ownership procedures based on Indonesian law and the concept of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process present in RSPO, as well as procedures for new development of plantation.

One of the key recommendations determined by the study is to use the many common elements required by both certification systems as a basis to conduct a joint, more efficient ISPO audit and RSPO certification on plantation companies with an auditor who understands both systems.

"Findings from the joint-study showed how ISPO and RSPO could complement each other and offer robust solutions for all stakeholders beyond what each could accomplish alone. We look forward to continue this joint-effort to make sustainable palm oil the norm in Indonesia." Said Tiur Rumondang, Director of RSPO Indonesia.

“Implementing sustainability throughout the expansive Indonesian palm oil supply chain requires significant and effective collaboration between all actors and especially between the government and international market. Last year’s COP21 summit in Paris emphasized the urgency for a coordinated global response to climate change. This study provides us with an essential stepping stone to enhance the cooperation needed to ensure the sustainability of Indonesian palm oil and should be seen as a good example acting on the global call to work together,” explained UNDP’s Asia Manager for the Green Commodities Programme Tomoyuki Uno.

Moving forward, the ISPO Secretariat and RSPO are expected to continue dialogue in order to develop concrete activities that mutually enhance the competiveness and sustainability of Indonesian palm oil.

To learn more about the similarities and differences of the ISPO standard and RSPO standard download an electronic copy of the study via the following websites: or

Contact information
Dhiny Nedyasari
RSPO Indonesia Communications Manager
P: +6221 250 6417
M: +62 818 740 121
Rebecca Lake
UNDP and InPOP Communications Officer
M: +62 813 106 34343

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Indonesia 
Go to UNDP Global