IPB University Experts Respond to the Extension of the Palm Oil Moratorium and Its Impact on Land and Farmers

Previously considered the palm oil moratorium capable of resolving conflicts and improving palm oil governance in Indonesia. Dr. Bayu Eka Yulian, Secretary of the Center for Agrarian Studies at IPB University, responded that the extension of the palm oil moratorium in Indonesia is still considered necessary. Especially, to put the brakes on the country's north to south expansion at the peak of expansion in 2030.

“Land expansion based on food and energy needs has an impact on small farmers. Farmers who do not own land are forced to sell their labor as laborers. As a result of being a victim of big land deals," he said in the Ngaso Daring Discussion (Online Fun Chat) about "Projection of the Fate of Indonesia's Forests and Lands If the Presidential Instruction on Palm Oil Moratorium is not Extended" organized by Forest Watch Indonesia (15/09).

According to him, private companies conducted more than 50 percent of oil palm expansion. The practice of silent expansion is still carried out secretly behind the country's stage. Even sometimes riding the custom and fragmented. Although still on a small scale, when accumulated, the amount is quite large.

Not only that, according to him, the slash-and-burn method also has the potential to cause deforestation in forest areas.

Based on his analysis, a big man is behind these activities and has a market system. Therefore, he considers the extension of the palm oil moratorium still necessary.

The Job Creation Law is an illustration of how the government frames sustainable palm oil governance institutions. "Land grabbing, agrarian conflicts, community vulnerability, inequality, issues of loss of biodiversity, are downstream issues. There is capital working upstream.

So we will not only solve the problems of fires downstream but also the source of the smoke that is upstream," he said. Therefore, he continued, the moratorium is still essential, especially to brakes on land grabbers.

However, there need to be improvements related to data validation and human resources. Because it still leaves the problem of integration of coordination, assistance, strengthening up to the site level.

“So we are trying to look back at how the palm oil moratorium is. If we want to extend it, what can we fill this moratorium with. Was the president's interruption to them carried out properly?” he said.

Prof. Hariadi Kartodihardjo, Professor of IPB University, also added that there is currently no available evaluation of the palm oil moratorium. There needs to be transparency regarding the performance of palm oil in the field.

"What if we have the view that it is extended, even apart from evaluating the national permit (it should) be shown to the public what it looks like. Second, there must actually be a role for financial institutions and so on," he said.

According to this lecturer at the Faculty of Forestry and Environment, IPB University, according to Presidential Regulation No. 13 of 2018, the development of beneficial ownership must be shown to the public. This is to account for the flow of funds from parties who benefit from the palm oil business.

He suggested that the extension of the moratorium should be more advanced. The role of civil society is also needed to provide valid information about the performance of oil palm in the field. (MW/Zul) (IAAS/ERN)

Published Date : 17-Sep-2021

Resource Person : Prof Hariadi Kartodihardjo

Keyword : Professor of IPB University, Center for Agrarian Studies IPB University, palm oil moratorium, lecturer of IPB