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Ecuador takes significant step towards certified sustainable palm oil production

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has announced that the Government of Ecuador has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to continue the process of RSPO Jurisdictional Certification, placing them as pioneers in Latin America. According to RSPO, the decision marks "a very important step" in the future of sustainable palm oil production in the region.

Participants at the RSPO workshop in Quito, Ecuador (photo courtesy RSPO).

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international not-for-profit organisation that unites stakeholders from grower to consumer across the palm oil industry value chain has announced that the Government of Ecuador has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to continue the process of RSPO Jurisdictional Certification, placing them as pioneers in Latin America.

According to RSPO, the decision marks a “very important step” in the future of sustainable palm oil production in the region with jurisdictional certification being “a more structured approach” to previous efforts to establish sustainable practices within the sector.

With the commitment of the Ecuadorian government to adopt and implement the RSPO principles and criteria at the national level, it ensures the inclusion of all stakeholders in the production chain.

– This is a visionary initiative for a palm oil producing country. The challenges will be substantial, but so too will be the long-term rewards. The Multi-stakeholder collaborative approach, taken here, will be the key in bringing this initiative across the finish line, said Darrel Webber, CEO of RSPO in a statement.

Beginning of joint effort

The signing of the MoU was the most relevant point of the “International Workshop on Juridical Approaches in Palm Production Areas: Concepts, Challenges, and Opportunities”, held in Quito on March 28 and 29.

Organized by WWF, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries and RSPO, it marks the beginning of a joint effort with various stakeholders, many of the members of the productive chain, civil society and state institutions, who have expressed their will and commitment to move forward towards sustainable palm oil production, based on the RSPO standards.

This commitment involves diverse stakeholders such as, the Ecuadorian Government with it Ministries of Environment and Agriculture; The National Association of Palm Oil Growers, Conservation International, World Wild Fund for Nature – WWF, Palm Oil producing and private processors groups, Foundation of Promotion of Exports of Palm Oil – FEDAPAL, Decentralized Autonomous Governments (GADs), Communities; The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – RSPO and civil society organizations.

– For the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture, and Fisheries of Ecuador, the opportunity to achieve RSPO jurisdictional certification is a great motivation to continue with the transformation of the oil palm chain in a productive, environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive way, said Carol Chehab, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries.

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