Indonesia deforestation policy: Reference on Papua forests protection, GAR/PT Smart statement, Entire process for new palm oil permit issuance ends: Minister - Environment and Forestry Ministry - nationwide extension of current moratorium, Quantifying the drivers of South American deforestation

30 May 2016: Quantifying the drivers of South American deforestation

Quantifying the drivers of South American deforestation - New research uses spatially and temporally explicit data to better understand deforestation trends in South America. by SAMUEL MCGLENNON 27 May 2016

13 June 2016: Reference on Papua forests protection

Editor's note: In the wake of the Jokowi proposal (quickly implemented by Ministry Environment Foresty) to stop forest conversion for oil palm concessions, eyes will be on the protection of the forests in Papua. A key NGO in tha treigon is Awas MIFEE, 

26 May 2016: GAR/PT Smart statement on the new nationwide moratorium on forest conversion

Thanks to a reader for forwarding the GAR/PT Smart statement on this issue... "in the short term the moratorium would provide impetus to the nation's One Map project.... (needed) longer term discussion on how to meet the food oil needs of a growing global population" 

12 May 2016: Entire process for new palm oil permit issuance ends: Minister - Environment and Forestry Ministry - nationwide extension of current moratorium area removes Papua and other areas from conversion 

Entire process for new palm oil permit issuance ends: Minister | Jakarta  May 1 2016, “I have put a stop to the entire process for the issuance of new permits for palm oil expansion under my authority, from A to Z. This is a concrete proof that we are following up President Jokowi’s directive,” she told, as quoted by Greenomics Indonesia.... The environment and forestry minister has the authority to release convertible production forests located in state forest areas for development purposes outside the forestry sector, such as for palm oil plantations... Citing an example, the minister said millions of hectares of state forests in Papua and West Papua could be qualified as convertible production forest, in which they fell outside the existing moratorium map. Thus, the forests could be legally released for development purposes, including for palm oil, she added.... “We are applying the moratorium on new palm oil permits in those millions of hectares even though the area falls outside the existing moratorium map. I have already given the order to stop issuing new permits for palm oil in convertible production forests. The authority for this rests with me,” Siti said....

18 April 2016: Jokowi seeks moratorium on new oil palm plantations whilst Indonesia government seeks to disband zero-deforestation pledge of dominant firms accused of cartel behaviour

Jokowi Seeks Moratorium on New Indonesia Palm Plantations, Mines 2016-04-14  By Chris Brummitt (Bloomberg) -- Indonesia’s government is planning a moratorium on new concessions for palm oil plantations to protect the environment, its president said. Current permits are sufficient and palm yields could be doubled through planting techniques and seed selection, President Joko Widodo said... “Now prepare for a moratorium on oil palm plantations and mine areas,” Widodo, known as Jokowi, said to an audience including the environment minister, police chief and activists. “We have to be brave to do that, we have to be concrete, real,” he said, before releasing turtles and eagles while barefoot on a beach. A moratorium could curb industry expansion in Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, coal for power stations and tin. There is already a moratorium on new permits for developing natural forests until 2017, though legal enforcement is often weak.... 

Jokowi announces moratorium on new permits for oil palm plantations, mining activities..

Govt looks to disband zero-deforestation pledge - The Jakarta Post 12-Apr-2016 Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta The government is campaigning against a "zero deforestation" pledge (IPOP) signed by leading palm oil producers in Indonesia. This stands in stark contrast to Indonesia's commitment to promoting sustainable agro-forestry practices.  The Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday the government was looking for a legal basis to disband the pledge. The pledge was initially designed to promote sustainable practices in Indonesia, the world's largest producer and exporter of palm oil. "The point is that we oppose the IPOP. The Business Competition Supervisory Commission KPPU has issued a letter saying that there are indications of a cartel in the IPOP. We will coordinate with the KPPU first and that letter can be used as a basis for its disbandment," the ministry's plantations director general, Gamal Nasir, told The Jakarta Post....

19 Feb 2016: IPOP in disfavour is a problem for RSPO 50% goal targeted at refineries (updated policy-maker and GAR statements)

Editor's note: It is reported that the Director General of Plantations Gamal Nasir at a press conference themed ‘Bermartabatlah Sawit Kita!’ (dignify our palm oil) in Jakarta, on Wednesday 17 Feb, discussed the implications of the deal among five companies (major plantations cum refiners) that prohibits them from buying fresh certain fruit bunches (FFB) from farmers and crude palm oil (crude palm oil / CPO) of oil palm plantations - those that do not meet the criteria of their IPOP grouping. Gamal said that this is to the detriment of the Indonesian palm independent smallholders, many of whom are planting on peat and marginal land (not favoured by IPOP which leans on RSPO and other voluntary international standard requirements; that many of its members pledge that they will seek to extend). Indonesia says that the hectarage of oil palm plantations managed by independent smallholders almost half of the total acreage of oil palm plantations in Indonesia, 10.5 million hectares.

This will make it hard for RSPO to implement its strategy of 50% usage of RSPO palm oil for Indonesia (and Malaysia) - which necessarily implies that the spotlight is on refineries must be asked to comply. Currently, the major refineries work to various options including certification RSPO, customised (non-certification) traceability by The Forest Trust and others.

The news that a parliamentary committee will look into issues related to IPOP is also circulating in the industry. Also at the 'Bermartabatlah Sawit Kita!’ press conference, Firman Soebagyo (Member of Commission IV of the House of Representatives), raised concerns about cartel and monopolistic behaviour. He also argued that it is the role of the Chamber of Commerce (Kadin is also part of IPOP) and companies to counter issues raised by foreigners via NGOs, not just to obey foreign demands.

However, Purnomo points out to Kontan that Golden Agri will always complied with government rules, denying affecting IPOP member farmers. Indeed, members of IPOP do not buy fruit from conservation and forest "If we buy oil from there, later called us with receiving illegal oil palm fruit," he said. Thus, it may not only IPOP that is asked to bow to apparent smallholder interests, but also ISPO standards?

Thanks to reader for the links in Indonesia media on the subject of Indonesia vs IPOP: 

Terlampir berita terkait konferensi pers hari ini yang telah di release oleh beberapa media online, media-media lain akan me-release esok hari;

Terlampir berita konferensi pers terkait masalah IPOP di media online, belum termasuk berita di media koran dan tabloid.