Internal Workshop on Sustainable Palm Oil (SustainPalm)


Internal Workshop on Sustainable Palm Oil (SustainPalm)

Bogor, January 31st 2024. IPB hosted the Internal Workshop on Sustainable Palm Oil (SustainPalm) at IPB International Convention Center in Bogor. This event is part of a collaboration between Indonesia and the Netherlands, involving the Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB), Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences (VHL), Universitas Lambung Mangkurat (ULM), and the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). This activity aims to support sustainable and circular practices in the oil palm-based economy, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The workshop opened with remarks from Prof. Iskandar Z. Siregar, Vice-Rector for Global Connectivity, Collaboration, and Alumni, and Dr. Musdalifah Mahmud, Senior Advisor of Connectivity, Service Sector, and Natural Resources at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Republic of Indonesia who also serves as the steering committee for SustainPalm. In her speech, Dr. Musdalifah emphasized the importance of international collaboration in addressing various negative issues directed at the Indonesian government. She added that this collaboration is not only a form of global recognition but also a tool of soft diplomacy, allowing foreign research partners to defend Indonesia in international forums. This is particularly important in facing the new European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), which requires seven commodities to be free from forest deforestation. Five of these commodities are found in Indonesia, namely timber, rubber, cocoa, coffee, and oil palm.

The event continued with presentations on the temporary results from WP1 themed “Increasing Yield, Crops and Livestock Integration.” This presentation discussed various intercropping business models for oil palm with other commodities, such as jack beans, and the integration of oil palm plantations with cattle farming.

The WP2 team presented on the topic “Sustainable Residue Use,” covering business models for utilizing Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) for biodiesel production and other oil palm residue-based products. Meanwhile, WP3’s theme was “Carbon & Biodiversity Rich Landscapes.” The WP3 presentation included management models to enhance the biodiversity of land and forest resources through reforestation and landscape rehabilitation programs in oil palm moratorium areas. Moderating by Prof. Arya Hadi Dharmawan, Professor at the Faculty of Human Ecology, IPB, and Diah Suradiredja, Executive Chairman of the National Forestry Council, the workshop has resulted in fruitful discussion toward related issues. All the participants agreed to work on the publications of the findings as an effort to promote sustainable practices of oil palm at the global community.

The workshop was attended by researchers from IPB, ULM, and BRIN, as well as Dr. Ing. A (Jan) Verhagen, Project Leader of SustainPalm. This workshop reflects a collaborative effort to advance sustainable palm oil production by highlighting various best-practice business models that can be developed in Indonesia. This is certainly useful for strengthening Indonesia’s position in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.