JOURNAL MONITOR EDITION 18 : PRESIDENTIAL REGULATION ON ISPO AND CRITICS OF THE CONCEPT OF PALM OIL SUSTAINABILITY

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The rise of negative campaigns by using environmental and social issues that attack the palm oil industry raises demands for the fulfillment of sustainability certification for palm oil products by producers. The sustainability certificate has also been used by developed countries such as the European Union and the United States as a requirement for importing palm oil products into the country.

In the history of agriculture, especially global vegetable oil commodities, only palm oil is required to have sustainability certification. Yet by understanding the concept of multifunction agriculture, palm oil also have an economic function, a socio-cultural function and a function of nature preservation so that its sustainability is guaranteed. Although it appears to discriminate against palm oil, but to accommodate the demands of global consumers and importing countries, various system for palm oil sustainability certification was formed, one of which applied in Indonesia is Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO).

Since it was developed in 2009 until now, ISPO has rules namely Minister of Agriculture Regulation No. 19/2011 which was replaced by Minister of Agriculture Regulation No. 11/2015. ISPO’s realization until June 2020 showed that only around 27 percent of the area of ​​Indonesian oil palm plantations has been certified by ISPO. Even the proportion of community oil palm plantations that are certified by ISPO is very small at only 0.21 percent. It also showed there are obstacles faced by plantation business actors to fulfilled indicator of sustainable palm oil.

The celebration of the 11th anniversary of ISPO in 2020, was also marked by the issuance of Presidential Regulation No. 44/2020 concerning the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Plantation Certification System. This Presidential Regulation concerning ISPO does not revise or replace Minister of Agriculture Regulation 11/2015, but formulated for compliment and refinement of the previous rules all at once for to accommodate the dynamics of the global market while increasing the adoption of SDGs values. In addition to aims more comprehensive, there are differences such as: ISPO’s principles, ISPO’s institutions, ISPO certified mandatory for smallholder, funding assistance and the authority of certification institutes.

Although the ISPO Presidential Regulation are relatively comprehensive, however the concept of sustainability adopted in ISPO (as well as other the sustainable certification systems) still has several weaknesses that have the potential to hamper the realization of the vision of a sustainable palm industry. As for some things that can be criticized from the concept of sustainability are as follows: (1) the concept of absolute sustainability; (2) divibility of sustainabilit; (3) has not covered palm oil-based processed products; (4) has not covered the issue of tracebility and supply chain mechanism; (5) oil palm smallholders who are threatened with phase out; (6) obstacles in implementing corporate and community partnership;, (7) lack of synergy with government policies;  and (8) low consumer’s willingness to pay for sustainable palm oil products.

Thus, it is expected that stakeholders especially in Indonesian government, can further analysze the points that have been criticized and then accommodate them in the form of technical regulations (eg ministerial regulations) as a technical guideline for implementing ISPO certification to realize a national palm oil industry that is more sustainable, more competitive and acepted by national and global markets.

Maraknya kampanye negatif dengan menggunakan isu lingkungan dan sosial yang menyerang industri sawit memunculkan tuntutan konsumen global terkait terpenuhinya sertifikasi keberlanjutan untuk produk sawit oleh produsen. Sertifikasi keberlanjutan tersebut juga telah digunakan oleh negara maju seperti Uni Eropa dan Amerika Serikat sebagai persyaratan untuk mengimpor minyak sawit maupun produk turunannya ke negara tersebut.

Dalam sejarah pertanian khususnya k omoditas minyak nabati global, baru minyak sawit yang diharuskan memiliki sertifikasi keberlanjutan. Padahal dengan memahami konsep multifunction agriculture, minyak sawit memiliki fungsi ekonomi, fungsi sosial budaya dan fungsi pelestarian alam sehingga terjamin sustainability-nya. Meskipun terkesan mendiskriminasi sawit, namun untuk mengakomodir tuntutan konsumen global dan negara importir, maka dibentuklah berbagai sistem sertifikasi keberlanjutan minyak sawit, salah satunya yang berlaku di Indonesia adalah Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO).

Sejak dikembangkan pada tahun 2009 hingga kini, ISPO memiliki aturan yaitu Peraturan Menteri Pertanian No. 19/2011 yang diganti menjadi Peraturan Menteri Pertanian No. 11/2015. Realisasi hingga Juni tahun 2020 menunjukkan bahwa hanya sekitar 27 persen luas areal kebun sawit Indonesia yang telah tersertifikasi ISPO. Bahkan proporsi kebun sawit rakyat yang tersertifikasi ISPO sangat kecil yakni hanya sebesar 0.21 persen. Hal ini juga menunjukkan bahwa adanya hambatan yang dihadapi oleh pelaku usaha perkebunan dalam memenuhi indikator untuk budidaya sawit yang berkelanjutan.

Perayaan ulangtahun ISPO yang ke-11 pada tahun 2020 ini, juga diwarnai juga dengan diterbitkannya Peraturan Presiden No. 44/2020 tentang Sistem Sertifikasi Perkebunan Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan Indonesia. Perpres ISPO ini tidak merevisi atau menggantikan Permentan 11/2015, namun dibuat untuk melengkapi dan menyempurnakan peraturan yang telah ada sebelumnya sekaligus untuk mengakomodir dinamika pasar global dan meningkatkan adopsi nilai-nilai SDGs. Selain tujuan yang semakin komprehensif, terdapat perbedaan lain yang cukup mendasar seperti: prinsip ISPO, kelembagaan ISPO, mandatori ISPO bagi pekebun sawit rakyat, bantuan pendanaan dan kewenangan lembaga sertifikasi.

Meskipun Perpres ISPO sudah relatif komprehensif, namun konsep sustainability yang diadopsi dalam ISPO (maupun sistem sertifikasi berkelanjutan lainnya) masih memiliki beberapa kelemahan yang berpotensi menghambat terwujudnya visi industri sawit yang berkelanjutan. Adapun beberapa hal yang dapat dikritisi dari konsep sustainability tersebut adalah sebagai berikut: (1) konsep keberlanjutan yang absolut; (2) sustainability yang tersekat-sekat (divisiability); (3) belum meng-cover produk olahan berbasis sawit; (4) belum meng-cover isu tracebility dan supply chain mechanism; (5) pekebun sawit rakyat yang terancam phase out; (6) hambatan implementasi kemitraan perusahaan dan masyarakat; (7) kurangnya sinergi dengan kebijakan pemerintah; dan (8) consumer’s willingness to pay rendah terhadap produk minyak sawit yang berkelanjutan.

Dengan demikian, diharapkan para stakeholder khususnya Pemerintah Indonesia dapat menganalisis lebih lanjut poin-poin yang telah dikritisi tersebut dan kemudian mengakomodirnya dalam bentuk peraturan teknis (misal peraturan menteri) sebagai pedoman teknis pelaksanaan sertifikasi ISPO untuk mewujudkan industri sawit nasional yang semakin lestari dan berkelanjutan, berdaya saing dan diterima oleh pasar nasional maupun global.

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