The Palm Scribe

Environment Activist Hopes Palm Oil Moratorium Can Be Extended


palm oil

Two years after the issuance of Presidential Instruction (Inpres) Number 8 of 2018 that is also known as the Palm Oil Moratorium, a number of activists on Wednesday (30/9) said its implementation was still facing a lot of challenges and therefore the moratorium needed to be further extended.

“We, from the civil society, hopes that this Inpres can be extended so that it (its implementation) can be more serious in the future,” said Andi Fatinaware, Executive Director of Sawit Watch in an online discussion on the years the moratorium has been in force.

The Inpres was published on September 19, 2018 and is effective for a period of three years starting from the date of issuance.

Fatinaware told the discussion organized by her organization that the implementation of the moratorium on new palm oil plantation permits, the evaluation of existing ones and on raising, was still far from optimal and still faced a lot of challenges, especially in the regions.

“We should not close our eyes to the socio-cultural dimension and the environmental dimension because we cannot deny that there are huge problems in those two dimensions,” she said.

She cited the many complaints that came from regional administration which usually is about the absence of the technical instructions needed for the implementation of the moratorium as well as the absence of allotment of budgets in the state or regional budgets for the implementation.

Fatinaware also said that the civil society also did not received information on development at the national level regarding the implementation of the moratorium.

“In the Inpres, there is a mandate, to submit report regularly, every six months or anytime the president needed it, to the present, and we from the civil e have no information on these,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Abu Meridian from environmental group Kaoem Telapak said at the same discussion that equally important as trying to get the moratorium extended, was also to plan what has to be done if it does get extended.

“What do we need to do if this Inpres is extended?” he asked.

Lili Pintauli Siregar, Deputy Chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) told the same discussion that one remaining problem faced by efforts to improve the management of palm oil plantation and industry such as aimed for by the Inpres, is the absence of an comprehensive management design for this commodity sector.

“Because it is true that up until now, there are yet no management design for the operation of palm oil plantation and industry in Indonesia that is integrated from upstream to downstream and that meets the principle of sustainability, or the sustainability of development,” Siregar said.

It was also this condition that made the sector still vulnerable to corruption, she said, adding that the KPK had also found a number of problems in the palm oil sector that still needed to be dealt with.

She cited the system of control in the issuance of permits for oil palm plantation which she said was no accountable, the ineffective control on the levying of export levies for the palm oil commodity, and the yet not optimal tax gathering by the general directorate for tax in the palm oil sector.

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