Sustainable Palm Oil (SPO) Initiative

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What is Sustainable Palm Oil (SPO) Initiative?
Established in 2012, the Sustainable Palm Oil (SPO) Initiative is an alliance between the Government of Indonesia (GoI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the private sector and other non-government partners that aims to address key challenges in Indonesia’s palm oil sector such as deforestation and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

The SPO Initiative Approach

All stakeholders play a vital role in boosting the sustainability of palm oil in Indonesia.
  • Smallholders produce 40% of the country’s palm oil. Raising their productivity and improving the traceability and legality of their palm oil is vital to increasing the industry’s sustainability.
  • The government is best placed to ensure long term and systemic changes beyond one single supply chain and to foster national deforestation-free commodity production.
  • The private sector makes key contributions, particularly to smallholder productivity. With advanced technology allowing for production increases from intensification, the private sector is in the best position to make capital investments to improve supply chains and subsequently farmer livelihoods.

By pursuing private sector and government collaboration with other non-government actors, such as smallholders, INGOs, NGOs, certification bodies and industry associations, and bringing together existing efforts and projects under one coordination platform, the SPO Initiative aims to catalyse fundamental change in Indonesia’s palm oil sector.

The SPO Initiative Goals


National and international standards alignment

The SPO initiative aims to support the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (SPO) standard to become globally recognised and promote promote synergies between ISPO and the Roundtablenon Sustainable Palm Oil.

A dynamic and operational Indonesian Palm Oil Platform

Transitioning the Indonesian palm oil industry towards sustainable practices requires fundamental mindset changes in policy and cooperation between stakeholders. The SPO Intiative will ensure that the platform, led by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), is an operational dynamic and practical forum.

Policy reform to reduce deforestation

The SPO Initiative works with the Ministry of Environtment and Forestry to protect High Conservation Value and High Carbon Stock land, to stregnthen enforcement of curent laws, to facilitate policy change, to accelerate land swaps and to enable companies to protect forested land within their concessions. With the MoA, the SPO Initiative supports independent smallholders to produce certified sustainable palm oil by strengthening their legal status (e.g. providing them with land titles) and by improving agricultural practices, which in turn diminish pressure on forest from small-scale encroachment.

Empower smalholders

The SPO Initiative supports Independent smallholders by strengthening government (national and local) and public-private partnership extension-systems. The initiative is also supporting key local and state interventions on issues such as land tenure, environmental management, credit access and infrastructure improvement. The goal is to integrate small holders into international supply chains in an equitable and sustainable manner. 


Tomoyuki Uno
Programme Officer Environmental Unit, UNDP, Indonesia
Tel.: +62 (21) 314 1308 ext. 203

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