Government Needs to Immediately Set Maximum Area of Oil Palm Plantation

Ilustrasi Perkebunan Kelapa Sawit, Jakarta- To ensure oil palm plantations can provide sustainable benefits, both economic, social, and environmental aspects, the government needs to immediately establish the maximum extent of oil palm plantations in Indonesia, said Mahawan Karuniasa, Lecturer of Environmental Science University of Indonesia and Chairman of Indonesia Experts Network on Climate Change and Forestry (APIKI Network) in Discussion of  Islands of Palm Oil, at Goethe Institute, Jakarta (19/4).

The discussion and movie screening of the Armin Linke Islands of Palm Oil film is part of APIKI Network’s cooperation agenda, the Indonesian Environmental Sienctists Association (IESA), the Environmental Science Program of the University of Indonesia and the Disaster Map Foundation, as a form of concern for the realization of a Sustainable Indonesia.

Based on data from the Directorate General of Plantation, Ministry of Agriculture, the estimated area of ​​oil palm plantations in Indonesia in 2017 has reached 12.3 million hectares with production of 35.4 million tons, mostly located on the island of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

The Indonesian Palm Oil Entrepreneurs Association (GAPKI) noted that palm oil exports in 2017 reached 31.1 million tons, up 23 percent from 25.11 million tons in 2016.

While the value of Indonesia’s palm oil exports in 2017 penetrated 22.97 billion US dollars, up 26 percent from a year earlier worth 18.22 billion US dollars, and became the highest value in the history of palm oil exports of Indonesia.

Oil palm plantations are the concern of the parties, in addition to the export value of the largest foreign exchange earners, as well as its implications for the environmental conditions in Indonesia, especially blamed for environmental destruction, among others, resulting in deforestation and forest and land fires.

The pros and cons of oil palm plantations are also characterized by the shallowness of understanding of sustainable natural resource management, resulting in the rejection of oil palm plantations and the opposite of continuing to increase the area of ​​oil palm plantations through increased investment.

Yet through a sustainable development approach, oil palm plantations have the opportunity to be managed to contribute economically, but not beyond their carrying capacity.

To ensure the role of oil palm in national sustainable development, it is necessary to establish the maximum extent of oil palm plantations at the subsistence level, at both the district and provincial levels, taking into account the comprehensive local economic, social and ecosystem conditions.

Establishing the optimal extent of oil palm plantations in a development area can use the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEAs), spatial plan and regional development plan document, said Mahawan Karuniasa to close the discussion. (Ag/Wt)



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