[Notes] Public Consultation National Interpretation P&C RSPO 2013

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Just quick highlights from my own view on Public Consultation of INA-NI (Indonesian National Interpretation) on Principle & Criteria of RSPO 2013, 5 March 2014 at Botani Convention Center.

There are five section during the public consultation:

  1. Progress Discussion on INA-NI RSPO P&C 2013 (Bambang Dwi Laksono FORMISBI)
  2. Principle 1 & 2 Clarification: Law Compliance & Regulation (Yuanita Sidauruk – CARGILL)
  3. Principle 6 Clarification: Social Community (Feybe Lumuru – LIS)
  4. Principle 5 & 7 Clarification: Environment & Conservation (Darmawan Liswanto – FFI)
  5. Principle 3, 4 & 8 Clarification: Sustainable Production (Ismu Zulfikar – SMART)

Progress Discussion on INA-NI RSPO P&C 2013

The RSPO Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production (RSPO P&C2013) has been reviewed and revised by the RSPO Principles and Criteria Review Taskforce, ratified by the RSPO Executive Board on 27 February 2013, and accepted at the RSPO General Assembly by RSPO Members on 25 April, 2013. As a result, all the existing National Interpretations (NIs) must be revised to be fully consistent with the RSPO P&C 2013 within 12 months after the date of ratification, by April 2014. Certificate holders (Growers) also must be fully compliant with the new version of an NI within one year from the date of NI being completed, by April 2015.

FORMISBI (Forum Minyak Sawit Berkelanjutan Indonesia) which assigned as NITF (National Interpretation Task Force) Chairperson will check all the revision suggested during public consultation, 18 February – 18 April 2014 (Note: physical Public Consultation is held on 5th March 2014 as clarification on Draft NI Version 5). On March 23rd there will be a NITF meeting together with all members (18 stakeholders from 6 growers, 3 smallholders, 3 supply chain & investors, 3 environmental NGOS, and 3 social NGOs) to wrap up the new version.

NI Version 5 has been published and opened for comments must be aligned with national regulation. Purpose of Public Consultation is to ensure idea and recommendation outside INA – NI are accommodated. INA-NITF also has identifies 205 regulation which related to 38 criteria and 138 indicators on P&C RSPO 2013 (including major and minor indicators/compliances where 45% of P&C should cover major indicators).

INA – NI also has added 4 new criterion from P&C 2013 (compare to P&C 2007) : (1) Ethical conduct (C1.3), (2) Forced and trafficked labors (C6.12), (2) Respecting human rights (C6.13), and (4) Minimizing GHG emission from new plantings (C7.8). However, there is still an argument on wording relevance for “shall” and “should” in the new INA-NI RSPO P&C 2013. It might be best use it based on minor or major indicators to avoid confusion (suggested standardized sentences)

Principle 1 & 2 Clarification: Law Compliance & Regulation

  • Generally P&C 2013 has its own consistency in language and well-ordered numbering.
  • Wording relevance: Pedoman becomes Panduan
  • Highlight on C1.3 related to ethical behavior which means regulation alignment and no conflict with applicable law which adapted to existing conditions. This C1.3 has minor changes but the implementation takes time.
  • NI once again must be aligned with national regulation.

There is question from Alphard (WILMAR) because no clear definition on ethical behavior (C1.3) for certification body (need to avoid different perception between auditor and auditee). In addition, communication and transparency among all stakeholders (government, companies, and communities) are very important related to this criterion.

Principle 6 Clarification: Social Community

There should be a social impact management plan/report that underlined plasma farmers. The companies should have their own stakeholder engagement for implementing that.

Principle 5 & 7 Clarification: Environment & Conservation

Principle 5: Environmental Responsibility and Conservation of Natural Resources and Biodiversity.

This included reduction of negative impact, corrective action, increasing the positive impact. Further, there is an additional 5.6 to GHG emission which has aligned with RSPO P&C generic document. Another recommendation that HCV assessment should be integrated with the EIA (suggested consistent and in line with the UKL and UPL). There must be an agreement to manage HCV 1-6 although outside the concession to the communities because public access to the forest.

Principle 7: Responsible development of new plantings

This included prevention of environmental damage such as hydrological analysis before the land clearing (especially) peat land/forest. That is why application of P7 is very closely related to the future of Indonesian palm. It also highlighted high carbon limits in the land clearing without burning and the new additional C7.8 on GHG minimization (with major and minor indicators suggested).

Another important issue on Internal SEIA & HCV assessment which may be only conducted for area of 500 Ha or based on the Environment Ministry Regulation 13/2010 regarding Environment Management and Monitoring Efforts (UKL UPL) and Environment Ministry Regulation No 5/2012 whereas the limit areas for AMDAL Obligation is ≥ 3000 Ha.

Darmawan Liswanto (FFI) as Co-chair FORMISBI said that determination on opening of land area has been not discussed further and no justification during drafting (either based on law or scientific). However, each HCV area should be treated as independent area NOT based on width of area. Based on environmental NGOs group discussion it is suggested to follow RSPO generic description (500ha) since it is already agreed by most stakeholders RSPO including growers from Indonesia

There was also suggestion to revise HCV toolkit especially on validation & verification of HCV report since peer review not enough and need standardization (this will be suggested to HCV Network). Other suggestion iss on integration of HCV and SEIA from growers group.

Another thought about how to manage identified HCV areas for example in Papua where is no IUPHHK and many primary forests (question & comment from Sujatnika – AKSENTA). It would be difficult for RSPO member to clear the land but not for the non member, which means RSPO member is not competitive with acquisition of new land in this case. Besides no regulation to protect primary forest outside protected areas up to present time. This issue outside RSPO privilege but very important for the future implementation. However, keep in mind, there is moratorium regulation with government initiative to tackle this issue. In the future, private sector can contribute positively to the policy if transparency and improved business ethics implemented. Other thing, the same commitment between members and non members RSPO should be also existed in land tenure or land right issues which not only based on legal but also historical issues.

Other highlights, no legal basis on the HCV in the present time. In the future, there is need an agreement with the local government such a decree so HCV can be included in the concession regulation. There is also question on Land Emission study based either on zero emission or baseline emission? However, calculation will be based on the existing carbon stock based on NI draft of C7.8.

Principle 3, 4 & 8 Clarification: Sustainable Production

This principle NI description as stated on the document.

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