JOURNAL MONITOR EDITION 38 : SOLUTION TO COUNTER THE ISSUE OF PALM OIL AS DRIVER OF DEFORESTATION AND LAND LEGALITY PROBLEM
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One of the topics of environmental issues used in the black campaign is that oil palm plantations are accused of being the main driver of deforestation. The anti-palm oil NGOs, which has often accused that oil palm plantations as the main cause of deforestation, actually they havent information about the history of deforestation in Indonesia. Main causes of forest lost in Indonesia are due to intensive logging especially in Orde Baru era and the impact of forest fires.
This fact also confirmed by study, which is summarizing the history of deforestation, it’s showing that oil palm plantations are not the main driver of deforestation in Indonesia. Although deforestation in Indonesia has increased from 68.1 million hectares (1950-1985) to 101.9 million hectares (2000-2017), but the proportion of additional oil palm plantation areas is only 0.4-9.7 percent of the total deforestation in Indonesia. Studiy of the origins of oil palm plantations in Indonesia also show that most of the land for oil palm plantations development comes from shrublands.
Even though it has been proven that oil palm plantations are not the main driver of deforestation in Indonesia, the existence of oil palm plantations in forest areas has increasingly made anti-palm oil parties use the issue of deforestation to inhibit and phase out palm oil in the global market. Whereas based on Gunarso’s study (2020), failure in Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and improper spatial management policies is the cause of deforestation and oil palm plantation legality problems, so that the government’s “sins” must be borne by oil palm plantation actors which have the potential to threaten the sustainability of the national palm oil industry.
Therefore, solutions are needed in order to resolve the legality problem of oil palm plantations as well as answer and counter the issue of deforestation. The solutions in question include the Agreement Spatial Management Policy, the forest designation policy to be returned based on Law 41/1999, and the criteria for determining forest based on satellite image analysis which shows the area of forest covered as the database used for the formulation of regional governance and spatial planning as well as data collected which is reported to international agencies such as FAO.