International experts, including at Global Forests Watch and the World Economic Forum, have celebrated the achievement of the Government of Indonesia and the Indonesian palm oil community in reducing deforestation to an all-time low.

In a recent column in The Jakarta Globe, Joko Supriyono, Chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) and Fadhil Hasan, Senior Economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) highlight the success story of this collaboration.

The list of achievements include the moratorium on oil palm expansion and the ‘One Map Policy’ announced by the President, as well as the Government’s leadership in revising the ISPO standard, with support from leaders in the palm oil community.

Supriyono and Hasan write, “ISPO’s environmental credibility is key to increasing uptake of Indonesian palm oil in international markets, which the president has made a key objective for the revised ISPO. The successful uptake of ISPO has made it the world’s largest palm oil sustainability certification – indeed, it will soon become the world’s largest-ever sustainability scheme for any crop.”

Regrettably, some actors refuse to accept this good news even when it is certified by the leading global experts. Human Rights Watch and Carbon Disclosure Project, for example, have in recent weeks fallen back on the tired old trope that palm oil is somehow responsible for the world’s environmental ills. Never let the facts get in the way of a dramatic headline.

The authors conclude, “It is about time that Indonesia’s critics gave credit where it is due. This should start with less shouting about invented problems on social media and more listening to those who have solved problems in the real world.

Read the full article from The Jakarta Globe here.