Traction Asia’s Ricky said that while it’s true palm oil exports might decline or be capped, consumption of palm oil for food and consumer products is expected to keep growing, and thus the risk of a deficit is still there. The government is rolling out the program in stages, blending progressively higher concentrations of palm oil-derived biodiesel into conventional diesel. There are also many reports of the palm oil industry exploiting laborers and using child labour. This biodiesel program was initially created to absorb excess crude palm oil production, but unfortunately it has become a boomerang as the [biodiesel blend] target kept being increased. So do its elephants, Activists in Malaysia call on road planners to learn the lessons of history, Road-paving project threatens a wildlife-rich reserve in Indonesia’s Papua. It’s expected to reach the B50 stage, a 50:50 blend, by 2025. Check out this piece by Amnesty International to learn about labor in the palm oil industry, and why sustainable palm oil claims are not always legitimate. Mongabay Series: Indonesian Forests, Indonesian Palm Oil. In 2019, Nestlé recorded over 1,000 cases of deforestation daily. In 2017, the government was only able to replant 14,790 hectares (36,550 acres) of old plantations, or 71% of its target. Palm oil has become quite controversial over the past few years, as more and more people have learned about the industry, how it impacts the environment, and how it hurts primates. Today, the food giant still cannot document the source of almost a third of the palm oil it uses. Just because a product doesn't include "palm oil" on the ingredients list doesn't mean it is palm oil free. It comes from the fleshy fruit of palm trees — specifically, oil palm trees, aka the Elaeis guineensis tree, according to the WWF. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. The program is meant to both ease Indonesia’s dependence on crude oil imports and make the shift to so-called biofuel, which the government touts as a cleaner alternative to conventional fossil-fuel diesel. This year, the government was only able to replant 67,018 hectares (165,605 acres), or 37% of its target. Much of the expansion of palm oil harvesting occurs on land that was previously used for growing crops like coffee or rubber. And sustainability audits will not reveal labor issues. If that’s the case, then biodiesel will be much less friendly to the environment than diesel based on its emission that we count from the life-cycle analysis.”. We aim to achieve this by using a robust engagement and evaluation process for measuring the progress of the major First Importers of palm oil into international markets. “If we don’t, there’s a likelihood for land conversion. Indonesia’s Palm Oil Association today questioned the CDP findings and said firms had adhered to domestic industry standards. According to Orangutan Foundation International, palm oil is the No. While high yielding crops are generally pretty sustainable, that is not true in the case of palm oil. That moratorium,  imposed by President Joko Widodo in September 2018, is due to expire in September 2021. However, because primates are often directly hurt by the palm oil industry, many vegans and environmentalists do their best to avoid palm oil — even though that is sometimes impossible, considering how many ingredients sneakily contain palm oil. on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests (2016/2222(INI)) The European Parliament, – having regard to the 2015-2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), – having regard to the Paris Agreement reached at the 21st Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), Palm oil is one of the most efficient and widely used vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees. “The biodiesel program is clearly not a solution for the country’s fiscal state and will worsen the implementation of Indonesia’s climate commitment because it is oriented toward deforestation and new land clearing in forest areas. It's worth noting that the RSPO does have oil palm producers as stakeholders — though it has environmental organizations as stakeholders as well, in an effort to produce palm oil in both a lucrative and sustainable way. Sigit said there was a smear campaign underway against palm oil in the European Union and the U.S., two of Indonesia’s biggest export markets. If this can be answered, I’m sure there’s not going to be a debate.”. Although this is a lower projection than the ministry’s, it still represents an area two-thirds the size of Indonesia’s Java Island. In Indonesia, rising demand for palm oil and timber has led to the clearing of tropical forest land in Indonesian national parks.According to a 2007 report published by UNEP, at the rate of deforestation at that time, an estimated 98 percent of Indonesian forest would be destroyed by 2022 due to legal and illegal logging, forest fires and the development of palm oil plantations. In Indonesia and Malaysia, deforestation peaked decades ago and was already decreasing before palm oil started to take off. Dryness? Palm oil and deforestation Palm plantations are reputed to be a major factor of deforestation. Additionally, oil palm plays a crucial role in driving deforestation dynamics. Read on for answers to some of the Internet's most-asked questions about palm oil, which should help you make an informed decision about whether it's something you want to continue consuming. Emma Keller, palm oil expert at WWF-UK, said: “Consumers don’t want their food or other purchases to come with a side order of deforestation and destruction of wildlife. That moratorium,  imposed by President Joko Widodo in September 2018, is due to expire in September 2021. “So in my opinion, it can be guaranteed that the palm oil produced to become fuel [is sustainable] because it has to go through the [certification] procedure,” Sigit said. Deforestation is one of the major sustainability challenges for the agri- and aquaculture sector. Almost all oil palm grows in areas that were once tropical moist forests, some of them quite recently. The program is currently at the B30 stage, which means the diesel sold at the pump contains a 30% blend of palm oil-derived biodiesel. 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Do your own research on the RSPO (and other sustainable palm oil certification groups) before trusting their advice, since everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to supporting controversial industries. Once these vehicles are being developed, what use will the biodiesel be?”. Now, huge swathes of oil palm trees dominate the tropical landscape of South-East Asia, especially Indonesia and Malaysia, which make up over 85% of the global supply of palm oil. Beef may pose a greater deforestation risk than other commodities such as palm oil and timber thanks to “extremely poor” efforts to trace where cattle are reared, according to a new report. The corporate drivers of deforestation not only have massive influence over how their suppliers produce palm oil, soy, cocoa, pulp, paper, timber and beef, but also over each other. This results in deforestation, destroying habitats of wild animals native to rainforests — namely, orangutans (as well as other primates, rhinos, elephants and tigers, according to the BBC). Some brands claim their products are made with sustainably-harvested palm oil — but considering how flawed the industry is, is that really possible? It is impossible to know if some ingredients are palm oil-derived, other ingredients and products do not disclose their ingredients, and restaurants may cook with palm oil. “Move one step back, and then fix the management, raw material and production. “The potential for renewable energy in Indonesia is not only from biodiesel, but also solar and wind,” Ricky said. JAKARTA — An Indonesian government program to phase out diesel for an alternative made from palm oil could spur massive deforestation for palm plantations spanning an area a fifth the size of Borneo. Contributing to only 2.3% of global deforestation, palm oil as a crop is not the biggest driver. Palm oil production is said to have been responsible for about 8% of the world's deforestation between 1990 and 2008. Additionally, numerous common label ingredients are derived from palm oil, but it's hard to tell based on the name. Palm oil is the most widely traded vegetable oil on the planet, according to a study published on NCBI. “Unfortunately, the government only focuses on setting the target with no clear road map,” said Traction Asia research manager Ricky Amukti. By 2000 they have been almost entirely cleared in Sulawesi , and predicted to disappear within few years in … The conversion to date, and future expansion, threatens biodiversity and increases greenhouse gas emissions. He said it would ultimately be better for the government to scale back its ambitious biodiesel target to give itself time to improve productivity and sustainability in the industry. Banner image: Forest cleared to make way for palm oil plantation in Indonesia. That’s why it’s very wrong if biodiesel is categorized as a renewable energy.”. 1 cause of orangutan extinction. The money will go toward subsidizing biodiesel prices at the pump. Of the palm oil planted on deforested land, not all forest was primary forest before clearing. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Deforestation for palm oil has led countries to restrict imports of the edible oil, while labour concerns has seen the US block some Malaysian palm oil products. “That’s why there needs to be serious mitigation to hold back land expansion.”. The balance of about $55 million will come from biodiesel producers through an increase in export tariffs, effective May 1 next year. Palm plantations are reputed to be a major factor in deforestation. So, new tactics have come into use. For one thing, some products that may contain palm oil are not required to list their ingredients, such as laundry detergent and biodiesel. In tropical areas, however, palm oil contributes to an estimated 5% of tropical deforestation. “The biodiesel program needs lands for new oil palm plantations which could lead to massive deforestation,” he said. Palm oil stakeholders, from sourcing organizations to environmental groups, have seen little progress in stemming deforestation, despite sustainability certifications in the palm oil market for more than a decade. Actor Harrison Ford travels to Indonesia to learn why demand for palm oil in everyday products at the grocery store is driving massive deforestation. Another study, by Traction Asia, warns that the low productivity of existing plantations and ambitious target of the biodiesel program could see demand outstrip supply by 2023. In 2018, it more than doubled the replanted area, to 33,842 hectares (83,625 acres), but this represented just 18% of its much higher target that year. A key reason the replanting program has fallen short is because its funding, raised through mandatory export tariffs slapped on palm oil companies, has largely gone toward subsidizing biodiesel production and sales, to make the fuel more competitive with conventional diesel. 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