Pada bulan Maret 2011, Pemerintah Indonesia melalui Kementerian Pertanian, meluncurkan Pedoman Perkebunan Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan Indonesia (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil-ISPO). Melalui ISPO, Pemerintah Indonesia ingin mendorong usaha perkebunan kelapa sawit memenuhi kewajibannya sesuai peraturan perundang-undangan, melindungi dan mempromosikan usaha perkebunan kelapa sawit berkelanjutan sesuai dengan tuntutan pasar, juga untuk mendukung komitmen Presiden Republik Indonesia mengurangi emisi gas rumah kaca. Sebagai sebuah peraturan Pemerintah Indonesia, ISPO berlaku wajib (mandatory) bagi perusahaan perkebunan (tapi bersifat sukarela bagi usaha perkebunan kecil). Ini membedakannya dengan Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) yang bersifat sukarela (voluntary). Pada bulan Maret 2015, Kementerian Pertanian melakukan pembaharuan dengan mengeluarkan peraturan tentang Sistem Sertifikasi Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan Indonesia (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification System-ISPO).
Kajian ini menunjukkan bahwa selama enam tahun berlakunya, sejak 2011, ISPO belum menunjukkan kinerja yang memadai dalam kaitan pencapaian tujuan pembangunannya sebagai sebuah sistem sertifikasi menuju perkebunan kelapa sawit yang berkelanjutan. Penerapan ISPO ternyata belum mampu merespon dampak-dampak negatif yang ditimbulkan akibat pembangunan kelapa sawit selama ini, terutama pada aspek lingkungan dan sosial. Sistem sertifikasi yang diharapkan menjadi pintu masuk perbaikan tata kelola kebun dan lahan, dirasakan hanya sebatas sebuah instrumen untuk mendapat pengakuan di pasar internasional. Bahkan sampai saat ini pun, para pemangku kepentingan masih terus memperdebatkan apakah ISPO mampu menjadi jawaban terhadap tuntutan pemenuhan prinsip-prinsip keberlanjutan atau tidak. Dalam konteks yang lebih luas, sebagian pihak juga meragukan ISPO akan mampu menyentuh akar persoalan demi mendorong perbaikan tata kelola hutan dan lahan di Indonesia.
Faced with a global threat to food security, it is perfectly possible that society will respond, not by a dystopian disintegration, but rather by reasserting co-operative traditions. This book, by a leading expert in urban agriculture, offers a genuine solution to today’s global food crisis. By contributing more to feeding themselves, cities can allow breathing space for the rural sector to convert to more organic sustainable approaches.
Biel’s approach connects with current debates about agroecology and food sovereignty, asks key questions, and proposes lines of future research. He suggests that today’s food insecurity – manifested in a regime of wildly fluctuating prices – reflects not just temporary stresses in the existing mode of production, but more profoundly the troubled process of generating a new one. He argues that the solution cannot be implemented at a merely technical or political level: the force of change can only be driven by the kind of social movements which are now daring to challenge the existing unsustainable order.
Drawing on both his academic research and teaching, and 15 years’ experience as a practicing urban farmer, Biel brings a unique interdisciplinary approach to this key global issue, creating a dialogue between the physical and social sciences.
Palm oil, along with other agricultural commodities like soy, rubber, coffee and cocoa, has been blamed for destroying the environment and violating the rights of communities and workers in areas where it operates.
Yet, there’s a bandwagon of palm oil antivists and few protesting rubber, coffee or coca?
Welcome to Forest Cover No. 52, the Global Forest Coalition newsletter that provides a space for Southern and Northern environmental justice activists to present their views on international forest-related policies.
In this 52nd edition of Forest Cover we focus on a truly burning issue, the loss of the world’s forests to fire, not only because of our changing climate, but also because of the increasing prevalence of highly flammable monoculture tree plantations that dry soils out, the deliberate burning of forests to create croplands and pastures for livestock, and plans to turn vast amount of lands over to growing trees to burn in industrial quantities to generate electricity in the Global North.
Given all this, GFC expresses its shock and dismay that FAO has chosen to transform this year’s international day of forests, on 21 March, into an international day of forests on fire, by focusing on forests and energy. This combined with FAO’s continued insistence on including plantations in its definition of forests (meaning that the two are interchangeable in FAO’s eyes), is a gift to industrial forestry that will contribute to the continued depletion of the world’s forests and biodiversity. Run, forests, run!
It was his third visit in as many days. That alone made him my sole regular visitor. Although his ever-present grin unsettled me during every visit, we knew each other from long ago. Was he at that traffic light in my childhood too? I am not sure. But I remember him well from that day at the beach, some forty years ago.
I guess it makes him a long-time friend? Somewhat unwanted, comfortable but unwanted, yet still a friend… or dare I call him just an acquaintance? He’s a nice enough bloke; albeit unsettling on those occasions he drops by.
His challenge has been always the same, voiced soft and with a somewhat sobering silkiness. “Will you choose?”, he lisped yet again. My answer was always been the same too: “Choose what?” It was not intended to be argumentative. One does not argue with him about anything. No, I merely never had a clue what I should choose.
Indonesia’s Minister of the Environment and Forestry Dr Siti Nurbaya has asserted that PT MPK, the permit holder of a logging concession dominated by the habitat of the Bornean orangutan, has committed peat violations by constructing new canals.
This logging concession, located in Ketapang regency, West Kalimantan province, covers an area roughly 70% of the size of Singapore.
Tropical reforestation is an important part of the global effort to mitigate climate change, but ecologist Karen Holl says current international goals may be overly ambitious.
“The science and practice of restoration are often quite separate, says Holl, an expert in tropical forest restoration. “Scientific research takes place at a small scale, and we’ve rarely tried to integrate results on the broad scale people are talking about. There’s a mismatch between these really big goals and what’s being done on the ground.
It’s always easy to look at a glass and say it’s half-empty rather than half-full.
But in the case of Indonesia, a megadiversity nation, even critical observers would have to acknowledge there’s been a fair bit of good news recently. Here’s a brief synopsis of some of the positive signs:
Southeast Asia (SE Asia) is a known global hotspot of biodiversity and endemism, yet the region is also one of the most biotically threatened. Ecosystems across the region are threatened by an array of drivers, each of which increases the probability of extinction of species in a variety of ecosystems. These issues are symptomatic of the issues that face the global tropics; however, with around 4 billion people in the wider region and the associated pressures on biodiversity, this region may be under some of the greatest levels of biotic threat. Deforestation rates in SE Asia are some of the highest globally, additionally it has the highest rate of mining in the tropics, around the greatest number of hydropower dams under construction, and a consumption of species for traditional medicines which is a threat to biodiversity globally. In this review, the greatest threats to regional biodiversity in the SE Asian region are discussed. Tree-plantations and deforestation represent one of the most imminent threats, and some countries have already lost over half their original forest cover (i.e., the Philippines, parts of Indonesia), with projections of as much as 98% loss for some regions in the coming decade. Hunting and trade represent a significant threat as demand stems not only for food, but also for medicine, for ornamentation, and as a status symbol. Mining represents a frequently overlooked threat, as the Asian region is one of the greatest exporters of limestone and various minerals globally, and the cost of this to biodiversity is not only through the direct loss of areas for mines, but also through the development of roads that further fragment the landscape, the leakage of heavy metals, and the destruction of limestone karsts, which represent global endemicity hotspots. Reservoir construction, wetland drainage, fires, pollution, invasive species, disease, and finally climate change are also considered. Once each issue has been discussed, the overall prognosis of regional biodiversity and priority actions to protect SE Asian biodiversity in the future is discussed.