Nov 1, 2013

First collaborative initiative is the joint study on RSPO and ISPO towards mutual vision
of promoting sustainable palm oil

Jakarta,  October  2013  –  The  Roundtable  on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO)  via a formal agreement  today  announced their  cooperation  towards promoting sustainable palm oil in Indonesia. The first initiative  under the partnership is  a joint study  to examine  both voluntary international standardsand mandatory national  standards;  this is being done through  a collaboration  between RSPO,  the  ISPO Commission of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture and the  United Nations Development Program (UNDP).  This is the first such co-operation between an international organization and  a  national body promoting sustainable production of palm oil.“Indonesia, being the world’s largest producer of palm oil, has received much attention in recent years ,particularly from global communities  who  are concerned about the sustainability of palm oil production, and ISPO is  part of  the Government of Indonesia’s response. ISPO will help to ensure  that  there is growth, equity, improved livelihoods  and environmental integrity  in the palm oil  sector”, said Rosediana Suharto,  Executive  Chairman  at  the  Indonesian Palm Oil Commission  within  the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture. “We are glad that this joint study will now commence, and we  hope that the outcome will help the Indonesian palm oil companies, especially the growers, in their efforts towards fully adopting sustainable practices.”
The RSPO-ISPO joint study  was initiated  also  as part of the Sustainable Palm Oil (SPO) Initiative launched by the Indonesian Ministry  of Agriculture, UNDP and members of the private sector, with  theobjective to promote sustainable palm oil production and operation in Indonesia.  One of  the key components of the SPO Initiative is the establishment of a multi-stakeholder platform, where stakeholders such as  RSPO  and ISPO can convene and discuss how to best work together to achieve sustainable palm oil in Indonesia. “Inclusiveness and collaboration  has always been the philosophy of the RSPO. The RSPO Principles and Criteria  should be ambitious and yet pragmatic for growers  in  all the producing regions around the world so  that market transformation to make sustainable palm oil the norm can be achieved”, said RSPO Secretary General Darrel Webber. “Through this joint study, we hope to clarify the disparities as well as to identify the  synergies between the two certification schemes.  Our single minded focus is to remove barriers and challenges amongst Indonesian oil palm growers due to the existence of two standards and to facilitate ease of certification, while maintaining the robustness and rigour of the audit process.”
The joint study will be conducted by a Certification Body,  carefully  tendered and  selected based on proven capacity and experience in  conducting  successful audits for  both certification schemes. The appointed Certification Body will carry out the study  over  a period of  one  month  and  will be  expected to produce an analysis of the general principles and objectives and differences between the 2 schemes. The study will produce six key outputs, namely:
1.  A  comprehensive tabulation  of  commonalities and differences between ISPO  and RSPO  Principles and Criteria ;
2.  An understanding of the similarities and differences between ISPO and RSPO, including the inclusion of smallholders in the certification standards;
3.  Recommendation on  the possibility of  combined/parallel  audit for ISPO and RSPO standards, with the aim, amongst others, to optimize physical resources and reduce financial implications;
4.  A comprehensive listing of  commonalities and differences of 16 categories of protected area and the six types of High Conservation Value areas (HCVs);
5.  A comprehensive  listing of  commonalities and differences between principles of Natural Reserves and Biodiversity related to AMDAL (AnalisisMengenaiDampakLingkungan)or Environmental  Impact Assessment and HCV principles and its assessment, and a comprehensive understanding of the relevance of AMDAL to HCV requirement (assessment, management and monit oring). This output will also include a comprehensive understanding of the Greenhouse Gas emissions requirement in ISPO and RSPO and their methodologies;
6.  An understanding of the implementation of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process in Indonesia, as required by the RSPO, and its relevance and position to the existing Indonesian laws and regulations.

“This is such an important  initiative between the  RSPO and ISPO  which are working  towards a common goal of achieving sustainable palm oil. It is  also  the first case ever  in which  a  voluntary  international standard and a  mandatory  national standard  have  been brought  together  in an effort  to  explore opportunities for  synergy  and collaboration,“  said  a  UNDP  spokesperson. “We are confident that the RSPO-ISPO collaboration  via this joint study will  create a strategic alignment of efforts by the Indonesian government and by RSPO  in  creating a more  environmentally and  socially-responsible  palm oil  sector  in Indonesia”.The final outcome of the study will be published in a public discussion  in December 2013.

for more information please download the full press relase

Contact informationContact for RSPO Secretariat:
Stefano Savi      
Communications Manager     
T: +603 2302 1500    
Contact for Indonesia:
Desi Kusumadewi
RSPO Indonesia Director
T: +62 21 5794 0222

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