Indonesia is the second largest global palm oil producer after Malaysia and some other African countries. Palm oil economic value worth USD 18.1 billion or about Rp 240 trillion. Unfortunately, Indonesian power commodity has not been supported by the government. The statement was conveyed by Professor of Forestry – Bogor Agricultural Institute, Prof. Dr Yanto Santosa during roundtable discussion held by SindoNews with topic “Is It True Palm Oil Cause Deforestation?” in Jakarta on Friday 31 March 2017.
Yanto revealed that the government is never there when Indonesia’s palm oil facing various issue, starting from environmental issue, to trading embargo conducted by European countries. As a matter fact, what palm oil industry has done in converting unproductive land to be productive land resulted in foreign change for the country.
“Why despise palm oil? For whole this time, the government is so proud with lots of lawsuits and the closure of palm oil land related to land conversion or land/forest fires. This is not supposed to be the way we measure the government’s working performance.” He said. In Yanto opinion, Government should be present when local industry deal with pressure. Instead of blaming the performance of fellow Indonesians.
“In this case, government should create good environment for palm oil by issuing positive regulations and rules so there will be no lawsuit or interference. How the industry improve, that’s how we measure the performance.”
He explained. Meanwhile, Dr Petrus Gunarso, Expert Board of Indonesian Forestry Scholar Association/Persaki said that palm oil has not been accepted well in European countries. It is such a challenge to make palm oil welcomed by those countries. “This is where the government comes. They (the Eurpean countries) always use environmental issue as an excuse. Tell them it’s not about reducing productivity, it’s about how to make them understand. This is our job,” he said.
According to Petrus, if the European parliament concern about climate change, it’s better if the concern become common responsibility. Earth is not in Indonesia only. “They are the first who committed environmental and forest exploitation. But they retreat when we call them to be responsible. Justice must prevail. Without good environnmental, there will be no palm oil,” he concluded.