Wednesday, 13 December 2017 | 12:42 WIB

Walhi Requests Issue on Palm Oil to be Omitted from Indonesia-EU CEPA Negotiation

Walhi Requests Issue on Palm Oil to be Omitted from Indonesia-EU CEPA Negotiation

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM – The issue of palm oil has been asked to be omitted from international negotiations in the context of humanity.

The Indonesia for Global Justice and the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) have urged the Indonesian government and the EU Commission omit the issue on in the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Patnership Agreement (Indonesia-EU CEPA).

Yuyun Harmono, Campaign Manager of Climate Fairness at Walhi, said that the issue of oil palm should be excluded from the negotiation, as the issue should be placed in a humanitarian context, especially related to environmental protection and human rights in the palm oil upstream-downstream chain in Indonesia.

"We ask that the issue of palm oil is not used as a tool of trade-off (exchange) of interest in the negotiation of the third round of Indonesia-EU CEPA in Brussels, September 11-15, 2017," Yuyun said, as quoted by Antara on Friday (9/15/2017).

She asserted that issues of violations of the environment and human rights, land grabbing, environmental degradation, violence and new slavery in palm oil plantations monopolized by multinational corporations had existed before the CEPA was negotiated.

According to Yuyun, the settlement of the palm oil problem will not be resolved through trade between Indonesia and EU under CEPA, since the trade and investment agreement will further exacerbate the environmental and social conditions.

 In addition, due to the standardization and certification mechanisms within the CEPA, it is not an appropriate solution to resolve conflicts and inequality of land tenure in oil palm plantations. "The implementation of RSPO or ISPO is a fake solution in the palm oil sector because it does not change the structure of land tenure that is still dominated by corporations.The government should develop an economic justice map for oil palm and small-scale farmers and reduce land tenure by corporations through accelerated reform program agrarian, "Yuyun said.

Meanwhile, from Brusels, Belgium, IGJ Executive Director Rachmi Hertanti said that in this third EPA-Indonesia CEU negotiation, the nuances are thick with the issue of palm debate.