"Palm oil is one of the strategic industries that can drive the achievement of targets of SDGs in Indonesia," Indonesian Ambassador in Oslo Mulya Lubis noted in his presentation in Oslo on Wednesday.
The seminar, made available to Antara London on Thursday, was opened by Norway`s Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, Atle Hamar, highlighting various speakers from the RSPO, EPOA, UNDP, Rainforest Foundation Norway and WWF, and multinational companies ST1 and Neste.
This seminar was attended by participants from the Parliament, government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and Norwegian businesses.
The palm oil industry is vital to the economy and welfare of the Indonesian population, so the government is committed to managing the industry in a sustainable manner and through environmental conservation for the future generations," Ambassador Lubis stated.
Managing Director of Sustainability & Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Golden Agri Resource (GAR), Agus Purnomo, in his presentation, highlighted the need to view the palm oil industry more thoroughly and not selectively for vegetable-based oil industries.
The focus of the current debate should be to find a way to make the palm oil industry sustainable while paying attention to environmental sustainability.
This especially holds relevance as the company where Purnomo works is currently focusing on the sustainable management of the palm oil industry. For instance, currently, GAR no longer opens land to meet the market demand but empowers the existing land, including by optimizing production through the use of superior palm oil seeds.
As one of the largest palm oil producers in the world, the spread of negative issues and campaigns has harmed the Indonesian palm oil industry.
The presence of Indonesia`s Government and the national palm oil industry at various international forums is a positive and constructive effort in addressing the issue of palm oil that has been widely misunderstood by the general public.
The seminar was held in conjunction with the session on the preparation of the Norwegian National Budget in Parliament to counteract inaccurate information and matters often echoed by NGOs and local and international mass media, such as palm oil linked to the issue of deforestation, palm oil and carbon issues and water related to the destruction of peatlands, and palm oil that is suspected to be the cause of increasing loss of biodiversity, especially the destruction of orangutan habitat.
It is time for Indonesia to take serious notice and make real efforts to fight the negative issue and campaigns by opening the eyes of the world to the facts and progress achieved in the field.
Hence, it is a strong commitment of the Government of Indonesia to continue to preserve the environment by still providing space for the sustainable palm oil industry for the welfare of the Indonesian nation, Ambassador Lubis emphasized.
Reporting by Zeynita Gibbons
Editing by Eliswan Azly