Uniting To Deliver Deforestation-Free Sustainable Palm Oil

Uniting To Deliver Deforestation-Free Sustainable Palm Oil

Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, 29 April 2020: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has today released a position paper – ‘Delivering Deforestation-free Sustainable Palm Oil’ – endorsed by the RSPO Market Development Standing Committee, in response to the European Commission’s communication, ‘Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests’. RSPO welcomes the introduction of different measures and initiatives that aim to reduce the climate impact of European consumers across various commodities, including palm oil, and to work towards the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UN COP21 Paris Climate Agreement.
 
RSPO and the committee of market members stress that voluntary initiatives such as the RSPO can only go so far, and that the backing of governments is urgently needed to tip the scale for deforestation-free supply chains; for sustainable palm oil to become the norm. Regulatory action is an opportunity for governments to be part of the solution that is already offered by RSPO, and propagate company compliance and due diligence, as well as create a level playing field for the companies. Governments have a critical role to play in educating the public, reframing the palm oil narrative, and meeting voluntary industry commitments. To minimise the risk of further global deforestation, RSPO believes that collaboration across agricultural-commodity industries, supply chains, and with governments and NGOs, is fundamental to halting deforestation and protecting forests, wildlife habitats, and areas of biodiversity.
 
RSPO’s Head of Operations – Europe, Inke van der Sluijs said, “In these uncertain and difficult times, we cannot stray from our sustainability commitments for 2020 and beyond. By advocating for certified sustainable palm oil, governments will encourage deforestation-free supply chains and determine the future of our forests.” Working in close collaboration with its members,  RSPO will continue to develop the tools and champion innovation that help protect the world’s forests and local communities.
 
Through the 2018 RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C), tools like GeoRSPO | https://rspo.org/members/georspo |; an interactive mapping platform displaying the concession maps of all RSPO grower members, globally, RSPO’s Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) Hotline | https://www.rspo.org/about/contact/hrd-hotline-eng | where, in confidence, HRDs can lodge complaints with the RSPO Complaints Panel (CP), the RSPO and its members continue to demonstrate their commitment to transparency and to protecting people and planet. The RSPO also recognises that sustainable landscapes cannot be achieved without inclusive and sustainable economies, and is working to support more smallholders to become certified in order to improve productivity, raise the income levels among poor farmers, and reduce the risk of land conversion that threatens forests and biodiversity.
 
To drive the changes so urgently needed, the RSPO, business and governments must proactively work together to respond to emerging challenges as the landscape continually evolves. RSPO welcomes the communication from the EU Commission on ‘Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests’ and offers support in addressing the challenges identified by both the Commission and the European Parliament.

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