Indonesia is the notable exception as The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) made all its members concession maps available for download, the sustainable palm oil certification body said on Thursday (36/3)
“I commend our members for taking another significant step to further improve the transparency of the sustainable palm oil value chain, through shared responsibility and collaboration. I hope this encourages other agricultural commodities to follow suit for complete transparency across all supply chains and greater protection of forests,” RSPO Interim Chief Executive Officer, Bakhtiar Talhah, said in a press release.
The decision was taken by the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) the release said but it gave no explanation as to why Indonesian concessions remained unavailable for download in a shapefile format for geographic information system (GIS) analysis.
“The RSPO Secretariat is still working to make the Indonesian maps available for download and hope to be able to do so within the coming weeks,” was all the release said about the matter.
Whilst all RSPO members’ concession maps were previously available for public viewing via RSPO’s interactive mapping platform, GeoRSPO, these maps can now be downloaded and used for independent use or analysis.
At the 10th Annual RSPO General Assembly (GA10) in November 2013, Resolution 6g was passed; requiring the submission of all RSPO members’ concession maps, both certified and uncertified.
RSPO partnered with World Resources Institute in 2016 to develop its mapping platform, GeoRSPO. Maps published on GeoRSPO cover all RSPO concessions from around the world, which have been submitted by RSPO grower members and some processor and trader members. This includes RSPO members in Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Togo.
Data sourced through satellite technology allows RSPO’s GIS unit to actively monitor oil palm grower members’ compliance to RSPO’s 2018 Principles and Criteria (P&C) relating to deforestation, no new planting on peatlands, and for fire and hotspot monitoring. The use of fire for land clearing is completely banned within RSPO certified units and companies are required to take other precautions to prevent accidental fires.