EU Anti-Deforestation Law Benefits Farmers, Handicaps Corporations, Says SPKS
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Secretary General of Oil Palm Farmers Union (SPKS) Mansuetus Darto believed that the recently adopted EU's Anti-Deforestation Law is a hinder to corporations rather than farmers. According to Mansuetus, the regulation will benefits oil palm farmers and the locals surrounding the plantation, since many farmers have their plantations visible in satellite imaging.
"It will be tough for corporations. Easier for farmers, since their land probably reaches 4 hectares at most. Just determine a point in the polygon or coordinates," said Mansuetus when met in Central Jakarta on Tuesday, July 18, 2023.
Mansuetus believed that the law will be beneficial for the people and farmers since the Anti-Deforestation Law obliged corporations to establish plasma plantations as their responsibility toward the surrounding villagers. Meanwhile, according to SPKS, only 20% of companies have applied this scheme.
Additionally, the law also suggested oil palm companies' traceability. Mansuetus believed this is a positive thing since companies are not transparent about their supply chains. "We never know the source of their oil palms, it could be from legal plantations or deforestation lands," he said.
Previously, Minister of Trade Zulkifli Hasan said the regulation obliged exporters to obtain a certificate mentioning that the product is not harming the environment. "It is not fair to ask for a certificate, for example saying that our coffee is not harming the environment. How would farmers know to obtain the certificate, it's impossible," said the minister during an online hearing meeting with Commission VI House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.
Meanwhile, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo assessed that the Anti-Deforestation Law is a danger to the crude palm oil (CPO) export in Indonesia. Jokowi invited Malaysia to reject this law dubbed "discriminatory" toward both countries' top commodities. Indonesia and Malaysia are both the world's biggest oil palm exporters and importers with 85% points. "We need to strengthen our cooperation. We do not wish for Indonesia and Malaysia's commodities to be discriminated by other countries," said Jokowi in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur after a meeting with Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim last June.
In a joint communique, both leaders promised to cooperate to solve this problem. Indonesia and Malaysia sent a joint mission to Brunei last week to meet with EU leaders to discuss the Anti-Deforestation Law.
RIANI SANUSI PUTRI
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