“Indonesia's request to the European Union for fair treatment of palm oil is reasonable, bearing in mind that Indonesia does not sacrifice environmental conservation merely for the sake of economic development,” she said in the press statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.
If other vegetable oils need 278 million hectares of cultivated land, then palm oil requires just 17 million hectares of land, the minister said.
The use of land for the development of palm oil provides effective results compared to other vegetable oils, she added.
The minister said Southeast Asia is the world’s largest palm oil producer, accounting for 89 percent of the global production.
The industry also provides 26 million jobs in the region and more than 40 percent of oil palm plantations are managed by small farmers in ASEAN, she pointed out.
Palm oil can play a significant role in achieving the target of sustainable development goals (SDG), she added.
In Indonesia, the palm oil industry has helped bring down the number of poor by up to 10 million and contributed US$23 billion to the country's foreign exchange coffers, Marsudi noted.
The EU Commission endorsed the delegated act on Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) in March last year.
In the document, the EU Commission has come to the conclusion that palm oil has resulted in massive deforestation worldwide and set down plans to phase out the use of palm oil completely by 2030.
In response to the document, Indonesia has stressed that the post-pandemic economic recovery in the context of environmental protection must serve common interests and commitments.
Producing environmentally friendly palm oil is the commitment of Indonesia and EU, Marsudi said.
To improve common understanding and bridge better policies and self confidence in the sustainable palm oil industry, ASEAN and EU have agreed on the creation of a Joint Working Group (JWG) to discuss vegetable oils in proportion to palm oil.
“I warmly welcome the plan to organize the JWG meeting in January, 2021," Marsudi said. (INE)
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