FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Central Kalimantan’s Seruyan District Leading a Global Initiative for Supporting Sustainable Palm Oil Production: Update from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Annual Meeting
Bangkok, 8 November 2016: The Regent of Seruyan District, Hon. Sudarsono, today described the progress his district has made in pioneering an approach for supporting sustainable palm oil production. The approach, as endorsed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), is a certification initiative at the level of a jurisdiction, involving governments, companies, smallholders and communities in moving towards sustainable palm oil production.
At last year’s meeting, Seruyan District was announced as one of the pilot sites for this innovative jurisdictional approach to sustainable palm oil certification. This approach differs from traditional approaches to certification that focus on plantations and mills. Instead, through the approach, sustainability issues, such as reducing deforestation, protecting areas with high conservation values and empowering smallholders, are addressed at the level of the jurisdiction.
Hon. Sudarsono explained his vision for Seruyan District by stating: “Our dream in Seruyan is to ensure that all commodities coming from the district, such as palm oil, are produced sustainably. For this we are committed in implementing jurisdictional certification approach as endorsed by the RSPO. So buyers and consumers of palm oil will know that the companies and smallholders producing them in Seruyan are doing so without causing deforestation or degrading peatlands. They will also know that there was no burning when clearing land or seizures of indigenous lands for palm oil.”
Following the commitment to the RSPO’s jurisdictional certification approach that he announced last year, Hon. Sudarsono described some of the progress that has been made in Seruyan District for achieving this goal.
One of the major achievements has been smallholder mapping and legalization. Currently a total of 2560 smallholders have been mapped and are in the process of applying for cultivation registration letters and formalizing their land rights. By October, the government had issued 50 registration letters, and hopes to accelerate the process in the coming months. The mapping process is also being supported by plantation companies in the district. The district will also start its pilot smallholder program, which will be expanded to cover all smallholders in the district in the next few years.
Another milestone achieved has been the development and implementation of the “The Information and Performance Monitoring System for Sustainable Plantations” or SIPKEBUN, as it is known in Indonesian. SIPKEBUN will assist the major effort for monitoring palm oil plantations. It is a collaborative effort between the Central and Regional governments. SIPKEBUN was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture on October 26, 2016. A Memorandum of Understanding for developing and implementing the system was signed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Kalimantan Province, the three pilot districts including Seruyan and Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU).
As a first step, SIPKEBUN stores and displays large-scale palm oil plantation and independent oil palm smallholder data for Seruyan District, including the location and area of plantations, level of production and socio-economic conditions.
Beyond mapping the smallholders, Seruyan District government has established a Working Group for the Jurisdictional Certification of Palm Oil. The Working Group is made up of representatives from district government departments, oil palm plantation companies and non-government organisations including INOBU. The Working Group is responsible for developing a work plan for supporting certification and providing advice on how to reduce risks such as deforestation, social conflict and greenhouse gas emissions as well as protecting areas with High Conservation Values and High Carbon Stocks.
“Seruyan’s leadership ushers in a new phase of sustainable rural development that brings together the power of governments and public policy with the agility and influence of companies that produce or buy palm oil. With smallholders, local communities and NGOs collaborating in this process, this approach is really promising. We are extremely pleased to be part of this initiative,” concludes Joko Arif, Managing Director of INOBU.
Seruyan District, Central Kalimantan
Seruyan District is located in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. Palm oil is the largest plantation commodity in the district and contributes significantly to the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GDRP) of the district. There are 35 oil palm plantation companies in Seruyan District, 22 palm oil mills and around 5,311 oil palm smallholders. As much as 76 per cent of those smallholders are indigenous people. Smallholders in Seruyan, on average, own around 4.53 hectares per farmer. Only 50 per cent of independent smallholders possess land certificates. Around 55 per cent of independent smallholders have their lands within the concession area of oil palm plantations, 13 per cent are located within conversion forests and 32 per cent within production forests. No smallholders have land within conservation forests.
SIPKEBUN, which was developed by Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the provincial and three district governments of Central Kalimantan, is an online system that integrates data and maps of all oil palm growers: from industrial scale estates to independent smallholder farmers.
For the first time, the Indonesian government will be able to monitor online all oil palm growers and identify growers who are farming sustainably, and those who are clearing forests or burning their lands. SIPKEBUN also enables the government to know who is growing oil palm, where they are growing it and how they are growing it.
SIPKEBUN is also a powerful tool for governments to support smallholders to farm legally, productively and profitably. The system can help smallholder farmers to get cultivation registration letters. The data stored within SIPKEBUN enables local governments to streamline the process for issuing cultivation registration letters to smallholders. This data is also a stepping stone for initiating processes for issuing land certificates to smallholders. SIPKEBUN enables local governments to understand how smallholders are farming, which enables them to more effectively target interventions for improving the productivity and profitability of smallholder oil palm plantations
Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU)
An Indonesian research institute, Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU) is shifting the paradigm for reducing deforestation in the tropics by promoting a jurisdictional approach to sustainable landscapes. Through a team of driven researchers and experts, INOBU empowers governments, private sector, indigenous communities and civil society to sustainably manage Indonesia’s natural resources and agricultural production systems. INOBU’s approach is grounded in innovative research, policy analysis, technology and alliance-building.
Head of Forestry and Plantation Office
Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU)