Wednesday, July 24

Sabah’s move to produce sustainable palm oil hailed


KOTA KINABALU: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) congratulated the State Government of Sabah for it bold decision to launch a 10-year jurisdictional programme to have all crude palm oil (CPO) produced from Sabah certified as sustainable palm oil or CSPO.

“This move to implement the world’s first jurisdictional commitments on sustainable palm oil production marks a very important step forward for the future of this industry. The RSPO is fully supportive of the State Government’s decision, and can see long-term benefits from this programme,” the organisation said in a statement yesterday.

RSPO also said the jurisdictional approach is a more structured approach from previous efforts to establish wider commitments to sustainable practices in this sector. With the Sabah government agreeing to RSPO certification guidelines, this will ensure everyone, from large multinational plantation owners to smallholders, comply with the programme.

This move by the Sabah government also has potential to inspire other regions to follow suit. Using a structured, jurisdictional approach is an effective way to maximise the positive impact of sustainably produced palm oil, it said.

“To date, Kalimantan and other Indonesian provinces as well as officials in Africa and Latin America are working towards similar commitments. This jurisdictional programme adopted by Sabah will set a wave of change in the palm oil industry, paving the way for a future where sustainable practices will become the industry standard. This approach will provide others a valuable roadmap toward sustainable change,” said RSPO.

With the 10-year approach in place, RSPO hopes that statewide RSPO certification will see stakeholders work together to overcome productivity, environmental and social issues affecting the industry.

“This will bode well for local growers since they will have greater flexibility in meeting the demands of current and future markets. Using RSPO certification across the board will also raise the bar in attracting large downstream actors in the supply chain to invest in Sabah,” it added.

Datuk Darrel Webber, Secretary General of the RSPO commented: “This move from the state government, led by Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman, shows great foresight in future-proofing a very important economic activity in Sabah. Even more importantly it’s a move that signals a jurisdiction that is seriously preparing to transition into a greener and more resilient economy”.

“We have enjoyed a great working relationship with the Sabah Forestry Department, led by Datuk Sam Mannan, and we look forward to working with the Secretary of the Natural Resources Office to realise this initiative,” said Webber.