During a visit with Greenpeace Indonesia to Dosan Village, in Riau Province on Thursday, Suswono said sustainable palm oil practices could help dispel the negative image of palm oil producers as companies that damage the environment.
“A couple months ago I promised Greenpeace that I would visit this showcase of good palm oil practice. This project proves that sustainable palm oil is possible, and will go a long way to challenge the negative image ofthe Indonesian palm oil industry that currently exists in some importer countries,” Suswono said.
“The level of production from smallholder is obviously still very small compared to the large scal palm oil industry. But this project shows that increased productivity means palm oil plantations do not need to expand further.”
Since February 2011 farmers in Dosan village, together with local government and civil society have worked to develop a sustainable palm plantation and protect the remaining forest surrounding their village from expansion.
"Greenpeace is challenging the Government to use the responsible practices by palm oil farmers in Dosan village in Riau as a model of economic development in the agricultural sector. This model not only improves the lives of the community, it also protects the forest, without violating line with the President's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, " Rusmadya Maharuddin, Greenpeace Forest Campaigner said.
“We are committed to develop palm plantation with environmental friendly standards. Moving from using chemical to organic fertilizer, intensifying plantation productivity and at the same time protecting our remaining forest in the Dragon lake. This commitment has already put legally in our village regulation,” Firdaus, Head of Dosan Village said.
Perkumpulan Elang, Riau based NGO and Greenpeace supported the innovative approach of the Dosan farmers, providing a mentoring program for small scale palm oil plantations, as well as promoting responsible plantation management in seven other villages in Siak District.
"Gaining support for these products from the international market is important to strengthen the bargaining position of independent smallholders in the palm oil sector industry,” said Riko Kurniawan, Perkumpulan Elang Director.
Notes to editors:
For more information on the Dosan village model, please see: Good Oil
Rusmadya Maharuddin, Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaigner, 081565422373
Riko Kurniawan, Perkumpulan Elang Director, 081365248975
Hikmat Suriatanuwijaya. Greenpeace Indonesia Team Leader Media Campaigner, 08111805394
For photo and video requests please contact:
Debi Natalia Greenpeace Indonesia Media Assistant, 08567779783
Godi Utama Greenpeace Indonesia Video Producer, 08118164230