Fighting for ecological justice

EUDR as an Opportunity to Dispel Negative Campaigns

IPB University’s Directorate of Strategic Studies and Academic Reputation (DKSRA) invited Kaoem Telapak as a speaker to represent civil society and discuss the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).

The Webinar of IPB University

The event entitled The 42nd Strategic Talk: Implementation of EUDR, Implications and Anticipatory Steps also invited Expert Staff from the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Dr Ir. Musdhalifah Machmud, M.T.

In his speech at the event, Deputy Chancellor IV IPB University, Prof. Dr. Ir. Ernan Rustiadi M.Agr, revealed that palm oil is the most strategic commodity in Indonesia’s development. “However, on the other hand, [palm oil] has many problems, especially sustainability issues,” he said. He also realized that the European Union had good intentions in passing the EUDR to reduce deforestation. Therefore, he concluded that determining which palm oil is the cause of deforestation is essential. Prof. Ernan Rustiadi said this event aimed to provide a forum for discussion, looking at the dynamics of the current EUDR discourse. “Some say that we should ignore EUDR for reasons of state sovereignty. Some say that implementing EUDR is important. Some believe that this regulation is not just about palm oil. “That’s why we need discussion,” he said.

Representing the government, Musdhalifah Machmud explained the anticipatory steps that the government had taken. He explained that five things were of concern to the government:

  1. Country benchmarking
  2. The inclusiveness of small farmers
  3. Certification scheme
  4. Traceability tools
  5. Data privacy protection

Musdhalifah Machmud outlined three categories for country benchmarking: low risk, standard risk, and high risk. However, unfortunately, the European Union has not explained its method for determining standards. “The hope is that benchmarking will be transparent, what methods they [the European Union] use,” She said.

Then, regarding smallholders’ inclusivity, Musdhalifah Machmud revealed that the principle held by the government is that no one is left behind. She is concerned that the European Union will remove the smallholders in the supply chain if they cannot provide geolocation data. Therefore, Indonesia asked for relief, “We proposed an extension of the time for implementing EUDR for small farmers,” She said.

Meanwhile, Mardi Minangsari, President of Kaoem Telapak, gave a different view. According to him, EUDR is an advance in sustainability regulation from the consumer side. “So, the responsibility is not only to the producers,” She said.

Mardi Minangsari also explained that EUDR could be an opportunity. She explained that in implementing EUDR, the European Union needs producing countries. They could replace palm oil, but it would not be economical. There is no other choice; the European Union must open cooperation to meet demands for sustainable commodities. “Until finally, the EUDR can fend off negative campaigns related to palm oil,” She concluded.


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