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NEWS: Towards sustainable development of palm oil


Medan, Indonesia – 11th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil

Oil palm growers, the food, cosmetics and oil industry, governments, scientists and environmental and social groups from all over the world participate this week in the 11th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT11 RSPO). The main theme of this year’s meeting is “RSPO Standard 2013. Understand. Apply. Embrace”. Wetlands International has been involved in the review process of the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) and will actively participate in the Roundtable meeting.

We provided detailed inputs on criteria and indicators related to palm oil plantations on peatlands. Our participation at the RT11 this year is to provide further clarification on relevant aspects of peat and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the new standard. We will act as a resource in the interactive sessions on ‘Shared understanding of RSPO P&C 2013 and alignment with our aspirations’ scheduled for 12 November 2013. In addition, we will also take part in the RT11 exhibition to showcase our work in conserving and restoring peatlands in Indonesia and Malaysia. Please come and visit us at booth 14.

The new RSPO standard can be considered as a major step forward in the development of sustainable palm oil. However, capacity to implement, monitor and audit implementation of the new standard is still rather limited. Many of the new requirements demand a high level of awareness of the issues that are being addressed, such as the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and soil subsidence resulting from peatland drainage for oil palm cultivation, and they also require special understanding and expertise to enable appropriate implementation. For some items, an ‘implementation period’ for learning has been built in, to enable palm oil growers to adjust their planning and practices.

To provide support on peatland related issues, Wetlands International has drafted a Grower’s Manual to be distributed during the RT11. This manual - presented as a draft to solicit comments, questions and other inputs from all RSPO members and other interested parties - aims to help and stimulate the learning process and to facilitate an optimal implementation of RSPO Standard 2013.

Your feedback is welcome at (attn. Marcel Silvius).

For more information, please contact:

Marcel Silvius, Head of Programme and Strategy Wetlands & Climate, Wetlands International or
Aprianto Masjhur, Biofuel Policy Officer, Wetlands International 

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