Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Study: Create the Same Level of Playing Field for All Vegetable Oils Towards the Achievement of the SDGs

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As the most traded vegetable oil, the dominance of palm oil in the global market triggers competition. Competition between vegetable oils has also led and aims to inhibit the pace of palm oil trade in the global market by using trade policies of importing countries that discriminate against palm oil (such as RED II ILUC) as well as black campaigns and the palm oil-free movement with using health, social and environmental as background issues.

The global palm oil stakeholders face trade policies and black campaigns that discriminate against palm oil, which is like playing football with a moving, as the issues used are constantly changing. Therefore, strategic steps are needed to defend the palm oil industry from trade policies and negative campaign attacks in a more holistic, elegant, long-term, and sustainable way and based on data and facts. The strategic step is to promote the positive values of palm oil.

One of the “languages” that can be used in campaigning and promoting the positive value of palm oil is to show that the Indonesian palm oil industry is part of the solution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a global development platform initiated by the United Nations and have been adopted by 197 countries, so the indicators in the SDGs are also recognized internationally. By linking the palm oil industry with the SDGs, it is hoped that it will open the eye of the global community to the positive benefits/values of palm oil so that it can increase its acceptance in the global market.

Another point of view from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the palm oil promotion material, the SDGs platform should be used with a holistic and balanced perspective to see the contribution of all vegetable oils in the world, not only palm oil. With this paradigm and narrative change, the goal of creating the same level of playing field between vegetable oils toward the SDGs will be achieved so that there will be no discrimination between vegetable oils and the same standard for all vegetable oils.

With this paradigm, the Agency for the Study and Development of Policy (Badan Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Kebijkan/BPPK) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia produced a study entitled “Contribution of Vegetable Oils towards Sustainable Development Goals A Comparative Analysis”. This study shows the contribution of Top-4 vegetable oils originating from the main producer countries, namely palm oil (Indonesia, Malaysia), soybean oil (United States, Argentina, Brazil, China), sunflower seed oil (Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Argentina), and rapeseed oil (Canada, Europe, France, China) in achieving the SDGs.

 

Meanwhile, the SDGs used as sustainability indicators in this study consist of 9 SDGs, namely SDGs-1 (No Poverty), SDGs-2 (Zero Hunger), SDGs-3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDGs-6 (Clean water). and Sanitation), SDGs-7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDGs-8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDGs-12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDGs-13 (Climate action), and SDGs-15 (Life on Land). From these goals, 18 indicators were compiled as a measurement of the achievement of the SDGs.

In carrying out that study, the researcher faced various limitations such as data gap, data validity, the complexity of the supply chain, completeness of the data, and geographical correlation. Among Top-4 vegetable oils, studies of palm oil that related to its contribution in economic, social, and environmental aspects are quite complete compared to other vegetable oils. This makes not all SDGs goals comparable between vegetable oils.

Despite facing various limitations, they completed their studies and revealed several conclusions, namely that all vegetable oils contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, and three of which are palm oil, soybean oil, and sunflower seed oil have relatively more contributions to the achievement of several SDGs indicators.

Indonesia
Infographic source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia

Based on this study shows that palm oil contributes more to SDGs-1, SDGs-2, SDGs-6, SDGs-7, SDGs-8, SDGs-13, and SDGs-15. Meanwhile, soybean oil contributed more to SDGs-3, and sunflower seed oil contributed more to SDGs-12. For rapeseed oil, the researcher stated that its contribution to the SDGs was smaller than the other three vegetable oils.

Furthermore, from the results of the study, BPPK created a Vegetable Oils Dashboard as an interactive visual media that can be used to access information related to vegetable oils and their contribution to the SDGs. On the dashboard, the public can access this data based on vegetable oil producer countries or based on types of vegetable oils.

In the Dissemination Webinar of Studies on the Contribution of Vegetable Oils to the SDGs held by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 14, 2021, the researcher also conveyed that the way forward of the study was further research by expanding the scope of vegetable oil to 18 vegetable oil commodities to be analyzed and compared their contribution to the achievement of the SDGs.

In addition, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also conveyed the steps that are taken by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to initiate the preparation of the Voluntary Guidelines on Sustainable Vegetable (VG-SVO) as a recommendation to improve the sustainable management of vegetable oils that refers to the economic, social, and environmental pillars in a balanced way to meet the global demand that will increase in the future.

The strategic steps taken by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are solely to increase the acceptance and recognition of palm oil in the global market so that there is no longer discrimination or differences in treatment/standard between vegetable oils. This step is also one of the surefire steps to counter trade policies that aim to phase out palm oil or the black campaign.

Sebagai minyak nabati yang paling banyak diperdagangkan, dominasi minyak sawit di pasar global memicu persaingan. Persaingan antar minyak nabati pun sudah mengarah dan bertujuan untuk menghambat laju perdagangan minyak sawit di pasar global dengan menggunakan kebijakan negara importir yang mendiskriminasi sawit (seperti RED II ILUC) maupun kampanye hitam hingga gerakan palm oil free dengan background issue kesehatan, sosial dan lingkungan.

Stakeholder sawit dunia menghadapi kebijakan perdagangan maupun black campaign yang mendiskriminasikan sawit bisa diibaratkan seperti sedang bermain bola yang gawangnya terus berpindah-pindah, karena isu yang digunakan terus berganti.  Oleh karena itu, diperlukan langkah strategis dalam rangka membela industri sawit dari kebijakan perdagangan maupun serangan kampanye negatif dengan cara yang lebih holistik, elegan, bersifat jangka panjang dan sustainable serta berbasis data dan fakta. Langkah strategis yang dimaksud adalah dengan melakukan promosi nilai positif sawit.

Salah satu “bahasa” yang dapat digunakan dalam rangka kampanye promosi nilai positif sawit adalah dengan menunjukkan bahwa industri sawit Indonesia sebagai bagian dari solusi pencapaian Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs merupakan platform pembangunan global yang diinisiasi oleh PBB dan telah diadopsi oleh 197 negara di dunia, sehingga indikator dalam poin-poin SDGs juga diakui secara internasional. Dengan mengkaitkan industri sawit dengan 17 tujuan SDGs, diharapkan mampu membuka mata dunia terhadap manfaat positif dari keberadaan industri sawit sehingga dapat meningkatkan keberterimaan industri sawit di pasar global.

Pandangan lain dari Kementerian Luar Negeri RI terkait materi promosi minyak sawit, seharusnya platform SDGs digunakan secara holistik dan seimbang untuk melihat kontribusi dari semua minyak nabati yang ada di dunia, tidak hanya minyak sawit. Dengan paradigma dan perubahan narasi tersebut, tujuan untuk menciptakan level of playing field yang sama antar minyak nabati terhadap tujuan-tujuan SDGs akan tercapai sehingga tidak ada lagi diskriminasi antar minyak nabati yang satu dengan yang lainnya dan perlakuan (standar) yang sama untuk semua minyak nabati.

Dengan paradigma tersebut, Badan Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Kebijkan (BPPK) Kementerian Luar Negeri RI menghasilkan kajian yang berjudul “Contribution of Vegetable Oils towards Sustainable Development Goals A Comparative Analysis”.  Dalam kajian tersebut melihat kontribusi Top-4 minyak nabati dunia yang berasal dari negara produsen utamanya yaitu minyak sawit (Indonesia, Malaysia), minyak kedelai (Amerika Serikat, Argentina, Brazil, China), minyak biji bunga matahari (Eropa, Ukraina, Rusia, Argentina) dan minyak rapeseed (Kanada, Eropa, Perancis, China) dalam pencapaian SDGs.

Sementara itu, SDGs yang digunakan sebagai indikator sustainability dalam kajian ini terdiri dari 9 SDGs yaitu SDGs-1 (No Poverty), SDGs-2 (Zero Hunger), SDGs-3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDGs-6 (Clean water and Sanitation), SDGs-7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDGs-8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDGs-12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDGs-13 (Climate action), dan SDGs-15 (Life on Land). Dari kesembilan tujuan SDGs tersebut, disusun 18 indikator sebagai ukuran terhadap pencapaian SDGs.

Dalam melaksanakan kajian tersebut, BPPK Kemenlu menghadapi berbagai keterbatasan seperti data gap, validitas data, kompleksitas supply chain, kelengkapan data dan korelasi secara geografis. Diantara keempat minyak nabati tersebut, studi minyak sawit terkait kontribusinya dalam aspek ekonomi, sosial dan lingkungan cukup lengkap dibandingkan dengan minyak nabati lainnya. Hal ini menjadikan tidak semua tujuan SDGs dapat dibandingkan antar minyak nabati.

Meskipun menghadapi berbagai keterbatasan, tim peneliti berhasil mendapatkan beberapa kesimpulan yaitu semua minyak nabati berkontribusi terhadap pencapaian SDGs dan tiga diantaranya yaitu minyak sawit, minyak kedelai dan minyak biji bunga matahari memiliki kontribusi yang relatif besar untuk beberapa indikator SDGs.

Indonesia
Sumber infografis: Kementerian Luar Negeri RI

Berdasarkan hasil kajian tersebut menunjukkan minyak sawit unggul pada SDGs-1, SDGs-2, SDGs-6, SDGs-7, SDGs-8, SDGs-13, dan SDGs-15. Sementara itu, minyak kedelai unggul pada SDGs-3 dan minyak biji bunga matahari unggul pada SDGs-12. Untuk minyak rapeseed, tim peneliti menyebutkan bahwa kontribusi minyak rapeseed terhadap pencapaian SDGs lebih kecil dibandingkan ketiga minyak nabati lainnya.

Selanjutnya dari hasil kajian tersebut, BPPK Kemenlu membuat Vegetable Oils Dashboard sebagai media visual interaktif yang dapat dimanfaatkan untuk mengakses informasi terkait minyak nabati dan kontribusinya terhadap SDGs. Dalam dashboard, publik dapat mengakses data tersebut berdasarkan negara produsen minyak nabati ataupun data berdasarkan jenis minyak nabati.

Dalam Webinar Sosialisasi Kajian-Kajian Kontribusi Minyak Nabati terhadap SDGs yang diselenggarakan oleh Kemenlu RI pada tanggal 14 Juni 2021, tim kajian juga menyampaikan way of forward dari hasil kajian tersebut adalah penelitian lanjutan dengan memperluas cakupan minyak nabati yakni menjadi 18 komoditas minyak nabati yang akan dianalisis dan dikomparasikan terkait kontribusinya terhadap pencapaian SDGs.

Selain itu, disampaikan juga langkah Kemenlu RI yang menginisiasi pembentukkan Voluntary Guidelines on Sustainable Vegetable (VG-SVO) sebagai bahan rekomendasi untuk memperbaiki manajemen berkelanjutan minyak nabati yang mengacu pada pilar ekonomi, sosial dan lingkungan hidup secara seimbang dalam rangka memenuhi permintaan minyak global yang semakin meningkat di masa depan.

Langkah strategis yang dilakukan oleh Kemenlu RI adalah semata-mata dalam rangka meningkatkan keberterimaan dan pengakuan minyak sawit di pasar global sehingga tidak ada lagi diskriminasi atau perbedaan perlakuan antar minyak nabati. Langkah ini juga menjadi salah satu jurus jitu untuk menghalau segala bentuk kebijakan perdagangan yang bertujuan mem-phase out minyak sawit atau black campaign.

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