A False Hope? An analysis of the new draft Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) regulation

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Analysis of new draft regulations on the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification scheme, including draft Principles and Criteria, reveal they still have gaps and loopholes which do not support improved sustainability in Indonesia’s palm oil sector as proposed by the Government.

The revision of the ISPO certification scheme, ongoing since 2016, had been seen as a key chance for the Government to raise the standard of oil palm plantations across the whole of the country. Indonesia has 16.38 million hectares covered by oil palm plantations – the largest of any country in the
world and an area equivalent to nearly half the size of Malaysia. Millions more hectares are allocated for palm oil but not yet planted, including 1.44 million hectares in natural forests. Indonesia looks set to imminently pass these new, yet still weak, ISPO regulations into law and miss a significant opportunity to improve the sustainability and credibility of its palm oil.

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