The Indonesian government and the Indonesian palm oil community are now, finally, receiving deserved credit for the progress made in environmental protection and sustainability guarantees that have been implemented over the past several years.

This week, in the The Jakarta Post, Musdalifah Machmud, Undersecretary to the Coordinating Economic Minister for Food and Agribusiness, and Fadhil Hasan, Senior Economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), highlight the progress under President Jokowi since the 2008 Bali climate talks in 2008.

Mahmud and Hasan and write that “These patient endeavours undertaken by Indonesia over 13 years have added up: Indonesia has recorded its lowest deforestation rate on record … it is time that other countries listen, and closely, to countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam and Thailand all of which have reduced their levels of deforestation over recent decades.”

Indonesia successfully secured forest management as a core focus of Bali. In the thirteen years since then, leading up to COP26 in Glasgow later this year, Indonesia’s sustainability approach has showed the way for the world. This includes the development and implementation of the world’s largest-ever palm oil certification standard, Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO), the successful moratorium on new oil palm development, and Indonesia’s appointment as co-chair of the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade Dialogue (FACT) for the upcoming COP meeting.

The authors point to the FACT Dialogue appointment as a significant moment for Indonesia, achieving recognition of the country’s valuable role in the global climate debate: “The dialogue is there to develop a consensus among nations on a plan of action that both protects forests and livelihoods, that delivers sustainable land use and promotes trade and development. Indonesia brings to the table a wealth of experience.”

Machmud and Hasan conclude that Indonesia’s sustainability journey “is truly a work in progress but this year we can at last see things changing.”

Read the full article from The Jakarta Post here.