2016-03-25

Minister forms IPOP verification team



JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - Indonesia's Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, signed a letter of assignment on Wednesday (Mar 23) establishing a team tasked with conducting a detailed study of palm oil sustainability policy and the content of the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP).

Ill be leading the team directly. The teams panel of experts comprises one person from my top echelon and four of my senior advisors. It will also be assisted by another technical team consisting of one person from my top echelon and two people from my second echelon, the minister told foresthints.news on Thursday (Mar 24) in Jakarta.

Based on the letter of assignment, the specific duties of the team include verifying the IPOP as a corporate palm oil pledge at the supply chain level.

Furthermore, the team is also tasked with studying the consequences and unanticipated effects of the IPOP implementation in a legal, political and practical sense for both businesses and palm oil smallholders.

Getting the views of relevant stakeholders

The minister announced that she would invite all relevant stakeholders to give their views on the content of IPOP as well as the unexpected effects of its implementation.

Intensive dialogues will also be held with the relevant ministries so that the Indonesian government presents a unified voice in this matter. That was the message Pak Luhut (Indonesias Chief Security Minister) gave me, she confided.

When asked by foresthints.news whether IPOP signatories and IPOP Management would also be asked for clarifications, the minister replied that she would be inviting the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), along with relevant companies and palm oil business groups associated with IPOP and its implementation, to voice their opinions and to establish a closer dialogue on the issue.

Please take careful note that I am not inviting IPOP signatories as such, but rather companies or business groups that have signed IPOP. There is an obvious difference, the minister explained.

She also stressed that she would not be inviting IPOP Management to participate in the process of the in-depth study of IPOP's content.

I actually have no idea who IPOP Management is because its legal standing is not clear. Their presence could result in confusion as the government only recognizes official associations which have served as its working partners to date, such as the Indonesian Palm Oil Association. As such, I've decided neither to invite nor involve IPOP Management in this process, she reiterated firmly.

The minister said that as of Monday (Mar 28), she and her team will have started work.

"I hope that in about three weeks, there will be some solid and substantial recommendations for me to review, after which I will consult with the relevant ministers. At the end of the process, a final report will of course be officially submitted to the President, she concluded.