Borneo palm oil industry resources
What’s the context?Palm oil plantations require the complete conversion of land use. When concessions are placed in high conservation value forest areas, this can result in a significant loss in ecosystem value.
The challenge for the governments’ vision enshrined in the Heart of Borneo Declaration is to ensure that as the cultivated area increases, adequate protection is given to the Heart of Borneo.
Future revenues from the industry can be maintained and even increased, by:
- developing new plantations on degraded lands,
- concentrating on increasing productivity, particularly amongst smallholders, and
- developing downstream processing industries to add value without increasing pressure to convert natural forests.
In this section, find out more about what you can do to reduce your social and environmental impact in the Heart of Borneo.
Example of sustainable palm oil production
RSPO certifies companies and smallholders working toward producing palm oil in a way that doesn't harm people or the environment.
PT. Musim Mas, located in Sumatra, is the first Indonesian company to achieve RSPO certification, who also engages smallholders who are RSPO-certified too.
Interactive Palm Oil Scorecard
Palm oil is a major global commodity—a highly versatile vegetable oil derived from very productive oil palm trees grown only in the tropics. And it is here to stay. Consumption is increasing globally and is set to grow from about 50 million tonnes in 2011 to at least 77 million tonnes in 2050.
Clearing tropical forests for oil palm production can be very damaging to wildlife, communities and the wider environment—not least because deforestation makes a major contribution to greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.
But palm oil itself is not the issue—the problem is how and where palm oil is produced. The industry does not have to grow at the expense of the environment. At the heart of the RSPO is a standard that requires members not to clear primary forest or any land that is important for wildlife and communities. In 2011, 10 per cent of global palm oil production is certified to the RSPO standard—but unfortunately only half of that has been purchased.
WWF’s Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard 2011 measures the performance of 132 major retailers and consumer goods manufacturers against four areas which show whether or not these companies are acting responsibly
What is the Scorecard
The Scorecard reveals that there has been some progress on sustainable palm oil since WWF’s 2009 assessment. But new commitments are simply not translating fast enough into increased use of certified sustainable palm oil. The implications for companies are clear—they need to shift gears immediately and accelerate their use of RSPO-certified palm oil.
Companies must start pushing harder to source fully traceable sustainable palm oil.
Time is running out for palm oil buyers to take action. Companies need to seize this opportunity to support sustainable palm oil, and help avoid the irrecoverable loss of tropical forests, and the unique species that inhabit them. This is a chance to show the world that they are part of the solution, rather than a part of the problem.
Companies• Join the RSPO and become an active and responsible member
• Make a commitment to sourcing 100 per cent certified sustainable palm oil by 2015 at the very latest and implement a time-bound action plan to deliver the commitment.
• Be transparent about your use of palm oil
• Start sourcing certified sustainable palm oil – from any of the RSPO supply chains.
• However, they should start investing in traceable supply chains of certified sustainable palm oil.
• Go beyond “own commitments” and engage suppliers of branded products to make similar commitments
• Take every opportunity to raise awareness of the RSPO and certified sustainable palm oil.
Consumers• Shopping from companies that have committed to certified sustainable palm oil
• Look for the RSPO trademark on products;
• Ask retailers to source certified sustainable palm oil products for
everything they sell—not just their own brands;
• Ask manufacturers to source certified sustainable palm oil;
• Contact WWF to find out about other ways to get involved with our work