Moratorium on oil palm plantation permits aimed at resolving problems

Moratorium on oil palm plantation permits aimed at resolving problems

Oilpalm plantations in Sebatik Utara, Nunukan, North Kalimantan (Kaltara) Province. (ANTARA FOTO/FB Anggoro)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The three-year moratorium on new permits to convert forest land into oil palm plantations is aimed at resolving various issues related to the management of oil palm plantations, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said.

"We give until three years to resolve various issues related to oil palm plantations including those found in forest," he said here on Friday.

Darmin noted that some medium and large scale companies still hold permits to manage oil palm plantation on forest land and have not been registered well.

"We will resolve all the issues so they (the companies) will be registered and have no problems with their permits. Of course, there will be problems since they have not been registered," he said.

By resolving the permit-related problems, the oil palm plantations can meet international standard in accordance with Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) which is still doubted and has sparked debates on the quality of products, he said.

The moratorium on new oil palm plantation permits is also useful to revitalize 2.3 million hectares of oil palm plantations found on forested land. That way, the old plants can be replaced with young plants to increase productivity, he said.

Overall, the moratorium is in line with Presidential Regulation No. 88 of 2017 on settling the control of land on forested land, Presidential Instruction No. 8 of 2018 on postponing and evaluating oil palm permits and increasing the productivity of oil palm plantations and Presidential Regulation No. 86 of 2018 on agrarian reforms.

The three regulations were issued with the aim of rearranging licensing, supporting people-oriented interests and settling overlapping land problems.

"We will issue a written statement related to the moratorium so its message could be delivered well. Don`t think the moratorium is to act on people but is to settle problems," he said.

Reporting by Satyagraha
Editing by Suharto, Sri Haryati