Viewpoint: Review Moratorium on Oil Palm Plantations
Friday, April 22, 2016
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo plans to issue a decree on the suspension of issuances of new oil palm plantation development in the country. His decision is a commitment to protect the country’s remaining tropical forests and demonstrate his determination for the country’s environmental stewardship.
The President believes that palm oil production can be doubled on existing land through improved agronomy and plantation management.
Although the decision is well justifiable, the President fails to understand that his decision falls short in looking at broader and more comprehensive aspects.
The rate of palm oil expansion in Indonesia has fallen sharply from more than half a million hectares per annum in the period of 2007-2013. Currently, there are more than 11 million hectares of oil palm plantations. Under current trends it shows that palm oil plantations will only reach a maximum of 12 million hectares by 2020.