More Than 50 Percent Green Area Preserved While Producing Palm Oil, EUDR Not Relevant: Indonesia
TEMPO.CO, Mumbai, India - Three countries comprised of India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, swore to jointly promote the positive benefits of palm oil to the global community at the Second Sustainable Vegetable Oils Conference (2nd SVOC) held at ITC Maratha Hotel in Mumbai, India, September 27, 2023.
At the conference, Indonesian Deputy Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga stated that India sees Indonesia and Malaysia as important and strategic partners and that the palm oil products from the two countries have given many added value and positive effects for India.
"These positive effects of palm oil products need to be disseminated throughout the world so that there will be no misconception about palm oil," said Jerry.
He explained that he once argued with the European Union (EU) about them being discriminative against Indonesia's palm oil products by putting up a ban on the use of palm oil because the EU believed that palm oil plantations are linked to deforestation.
"I asked them back about how much green area that they (the EU) preserved. they answered less than 20 percent, meanwhile, Indonesia preserved more than 50 percent green area (while producing palm oil), so the environmental issue (stated by the EU) is not relevant," said Jerry.
Jerry is sure that this palm oil ban by the EU is just because of a matter of competition. "The EU should be more open and also should not have put up the environmental issue and enforcing the EUDR (EU Deforestation-free Regulation) that are not relevant at all. That is why we are grateful that Malaysia and India are willing to unite with Indonesia to ensure that the voice of truth regarding palm oil can be heard more fairly by the world," he stated.
Meanwhile, a researcher from the Institute for Economic and Social Research of Universitas Indonesia, Eugenia Mardanugraha, said that the EUDR is Europe's line of action to control the prices of palm oil.
According to her, the regulation to prevent agricultural imports in relation to illegal deforestation is no more than the EU's ploy to hinder Indonesia's industrial development, including its palm oil industry.
"With the regulation (EUDR), the EU tries to control the international palm oil price," Eugenia remarked.
PETIR GARDA BHWANA
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