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8 Aspects of Independent Smallholders in Implementing Sustainable Palm Oil Practices

foto by Rafi Brata Alfanu/Sawitfest 2021 - oil palm plantation ilustration
8 Aspects of Independent Smallholders in Implementing Sustainable Palm Oil Practices

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - Indonesia, as one biggest palm oil producer in the world keeps facing seriously challenges to manage its natural resources sustainably. To protect forests and natural conservation in a whole, independent smallholders experienced some and offered valuable learning. Here are eight aspects that can be taken as guidelines heading to better natural resource governance:

1.Plantations (areas) inventory and identification: getting area data and identification would be significant thing to solve deforestation and forest degradation.

  1. Deliver fair access for independent smallholders: by delivering legal access about other use area and social forestry scheme which are the same with the laws, the government could create fair and sustainable legal schemes.
  2. Support for sustainable practices: delivering technical and financial supports for smallholders to implement sustainable agricultural practices, trainings, selecting better plant varieties, wisely water management and better environmental practices.
  3. Create alternative sources of living: source of living diversification, such as, agriculture, other sustainable plantation commodities, tourism would help to create kinds and sustainable economy.
  4. Encourage better practices: prioritize to implement better management practices, such as, applying pesticides wisely, better waste management, efficiently applying fertilizers to minimize the environmental risks.
  5. Actively involve the government and private (sectors): the roles of the government to monitor and manage palm oil industries would be important.
  6. Escalate people’s understanding: escalating the people’s understanding about forest conservation and sustainable practices would help them to change their behavior and culture around palm oil industries.
  7. Cooperation in international scale: Cooperation with many communities in international level, would help escalate the pressure on practices that damage environment and could share about available natural resource insight.

Though facing the external regulation, Indonesia could apply the dependence of European Union on palm oil as the incentive to improve its palm oil industries. The commitment on sustainability is not for the country’s responsibility but also the significant contribution for the globe. By learning from independent smallholders, Indonesia could be leading the way to get better natural resource governance, maintain sustainable environment and natural resources for the next generations. (*)

By: Chairman of Koperasi Perkebunan Belayan Sejahtera, East Kalimantan / Jamaluddin