plantation worker

ILLUSTRATION. Plantation worker watches as a truck unloads freshly harvested oil palm fruit bunches at a collection point.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) said that its members have been able to substantially reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions since 2015.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in cumulative annual CO2 emissions avoided from the conservation of peatlands, equivalent to removing the emissions of more than 110,000 cars in just one year,” RSPO Chief Executive Officer Datuk Darrel Webber said in a press release obtained by The Palm Scribe.

The reduction, highlighted in the 2018 Impact Report of the organization, was found through GHG assessment submissions received since 2015.

“I hope we can continue to see this kind of progress across the board year-on-year,” Webber said.

The report, which covers the period of July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, also said that there has been a 39 percent increase in High Conservation Value (HCV) land set aside and managed by RSPO members, or equivalent to almost 350,000 football fields.

The report also showed that the growth in HCV areas set aside by RSPO members increased by 83 percent in Latin America at 66,229 hectares and by 132 percent in Africa to reach 18,043 hectares.

RSPO, the world’s largest sustainable palm oil certification scheme, said by June 30, 2018, a total of 3.2 million hectares of palm oil plantations have been certified, representing an annual certified production volume of 13.6 million tons.

Significant gains were made in Africa where the RSPO certified area increased by 94 percent and by 15 percent in Latin America.

RSPO said that its membership numbers in October surpassed 4,000, from 92 countries. By  June 30, 2018, the membership had stood at 3,920, from 91 countries, or 15 percent higher than a year earlier.

The non-profit organization that gathers stakeholders from the seven sectors of the palm oil industry, including producers, processors, traders, manufacturers, retailers, banks, investors, and NGOs, is currently holding its 16th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT16) in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah till November 14, 2018.

The conference would then be followed by RSPO’s 15th Annual General Assembly which will vote on a number of resolution, including the new proposed Principle and Criteria.

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