Saturday, 7 December 2019

Indonesia, Malaysia to Protest against Palm Oil Ban to EU

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Illustration of oil palm plantation. shutterstock

    Illustration of oil palm plantation. shutterstock

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaCoordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said Indonesia and Malaysia had agreed to send their envoys to protest the European Union’s plans to ban palm oil as biofuel by 2030 as noted in the draft of EU's Delegation Act.

    "We will meet the European Parliament on April 7," Darmin told a press conference today, March 18, after a coordination meeting with the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) and the Ministry of Trade at his office in Central Jakarta.

    The draft regulation will be submitted by the European Commission to its higher body, the European Union Parliament, within at least two months. However, Darmin opined that the Parliament could possibly discuss and approve the agenda earlier.

    Therefore, Indonesia and Malaysia, the two largest palm oil producers in the world, would immediately send their delegations to the European Union. 

    Read: Indonesia Defends Palm Oil at ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting

    A number of negotiation points that will be delivered by the representatives are; first, the ban on crude palm oil (CPO) as biofuel material that both countries view as a discriminative act because it only applies to CPO and not other vegetable oil products. “We filed our protest to the EU a long time ago, but not in an official position,” Darmin said.

    The second point is the relation between oil palm and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are widely promoted by European Union countries. According to Darmin, the first point of the SDGs is poverty alleviation. Palm oil in Indonesia and Malaysia has become the people’s source of livelihood, which can help reduce poverty of millions of farmers.

    Third, Indonesia has carried out efforts to step up oil palm cultivation for the last few years in a bid to sustainably develop oil palm in the country, starting from replanting, expediting land settlement in forest areas (PPTKH), to the moratorium on the plantation permit policy. 

    FAJAR PEBRIANTO