History, objectives, end goal
The jurisdictional approach to the certification of palm oil in practice refers to the application of the RSPO Principles and Criteria at the level of the jurisdiction. Ideally, it should simplify and reduce the costs of certification thus expanding RSPO coverage while improving social and environmental outcomes. All actors in the palm oil supply chain, from independent smallholders, medium to industrial scale plantations, mills, traders and transporters should be covered. The central challenge of the approach is how to simplify, expand and reduce the costs of implementing the Principles and Criteria without diluting them.
Two of the largest palm oil producing districts in Kalimantan Tengah, Seruyan and Kotawaringin Barat, declared their commitment to jurisdictional certification of palm oil according to RSPO standards, in 2015. These declarations were formalized through decrees issued by the respective district heads in 2016, establishing working groups for the jurisdictional certification of palm oil. The pilot districts, consequently, have taken a stepwise approach to jurisdictional certification that emphasizes the importance of independent, smallholder farmers. In the two districts, the following activities have been undertaken, or are ongoing, for addressing the challenges of achieving sustainable and inclusive palm oil development:
- Establishing a district, multi-stakeholder working group for jurisdictional certification;
- Mapping and registering independent smallholders;
- Supporting all producers to comply with legality requirements;
- Establishing a district agricultural facility to systematically provide training and inputs to oil palm smallholders;
- Revising the district spatial plan to protect forest and peatland areas and restore critical areas as necessary;
- Developing a district protocol and mechanism for preventing and mediating social conflict from plantation development;
- Developing a district protocol and mechanism for tracing transactions between independent smallholders, traders and mills; and
- Engaging buyer companies to commit to sourcing sustainably produced palm oil from the district.