JAKARTA – Visiting French Ambassador for the environment Xavier Sticker is calling for dialogues between producers and consumers of palm oil in order to depend mutual understanding and provide a framework for cooperation between them.
ILLUSTRATION. Bunch of palm oil fruits.
“Need for dialogue between palm oil producers & consumers to improve mutual understanding & provide a framework for cooperation,” Sticker said in a tweet that was uploaded on the website of the French Embassy in Indonesia on Friday (26/1/2018).
Sticker, who is currently on visit in Indonesia, also tweeted that France was in talks with producing countries this week, and that these talks “underscored a shared belief that dialogue should be stepped up at the European Union level. European Union action plan is long awaited.”
The visit took place after the European Parliament on January 17, 2018 voted to phase out palm oil use in biofuels by 20121 and cap crop-based biofuels at the member states 2017 consumption level and no more than seven percent of all transport fuels until 2030. The European parliament, the European Commission and the European Council are due to meet next month to discuss and decide on the matter.
Indonesia and Malaysia, The world’s top palm oil producers, with their combined supply accounting for 85 percent of global supply, have strongly criticized the motion as discriminatory against palm oil and its producers.
A release issued by the French Embassy said that Sticker, who came here after visiting Malaysia, is planning to visit a palm oil plantation in Pekanbaru, Riau, “to directly observe sustainable plantation practices is that region.” No date or further details on the plantation visit was given.
“We came to Indonesia because we want to listen and be involved with our partners, and also to visit plantations to see what they have achieved, their challenges and their opportunities,” Sticker was quoted by MetroTV.com as having said at the embassy in Jakarta on Thursday.
“I am here to listen to Indonesia’s commitment on this matter,” Sticker said as reported by MetroTV, while speaking on sustainable practices and environmental conservation.
In the same report, Sticker was also quoted as saying that France will try to encourage the European Union to hold regular dialogues with palm oil producing countries, including Indonesia. “We will encourage the European Union to develop plans to overcome all (problems) by making joint efforts to obtain the best results,” Sticker said.
The ambassador has already met with officials from the foreign ministry, the environment and forestry ministry, the trade ministry and is planning to also meet with representatives of various non-governmental organizations and associations of farmers, the release said.