RSPO 2016 Impact Report shows increase of conservation area set-aside
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has published its 2016 RSPO Impact Report. Amongst other things the report shows a 9 percent increase of High Conservation Value (HCV) area set-aside within RSPO certified concessions.
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 published its 2016 RSPO Impact Report, providing a detailed look at its sustainability efforts and outcomes from the past year.
Highlights from the 2016 RSPO Impact Report include:
- High Conservation Value area: As of 30 June 2016, the total High Conservation Value area of forest and indigenous communities lands set aside within RSPO Certified concessions for conservation amounts to 157 115 ha, an increase of 9 percent from the last reporting period.
- Paraquat phase out: At least 40 RSPO growers have phased out paraquat, and at least 33 also have a policy banning, or have already phased out, WHO category 1a and 1b pesticides.
- Resolution of grievances: Out of the 63 complaint cases since 2009, 41 have either been closed or are closed for monitoring.
- Smallholder support: Since 2013, the RSPO has been running a Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) aimed at improving access to RSPO certification, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and increasing production of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). RSPO has certified 109 415 smallholders (individual and schemed) in the last reporting period.
Together with monitoring the RSPO impacts, the report identifies areas of contribution and opportunity for support by the RSPO to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched by United Nations (UN) in 2015. The RSPO, through its actions, is already working in supporting five of the SDGs: zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, and life on land. The RSPO continues to support and further integrate the other SDGs into RSPO standards and activities.
The report also includes data from several industries that have committed to 100 percent Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) in many European countries, and as of the reporting period Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK have all made significant progress towards reaching their targets.
– RSPO recognises that oil palm cultivation has been linked as one of the major causes of deforestation across the globe. However, with the mandatory assessment becoming part of the RSPO new planting procedure, our members have been able to increase the high conservation value (HCV) certified areas. This practice hence eliminates the loss of forests with outstanding and critical importance due to their environmental, socio-economic, cultural, biodiversity and landscape value, said Darrel Webber, CEO of the RSPO.
To further strengthen its global engagement with the largest consumer and producer markets, the RSPO has in the last year set up additional offices in China and Latin America and now has representatives in India, Thailand and the USA.
– The most important priority in the sustainable palm oil sector is to continue to help shape government and global policy to strike the right balance between the need for development and environmental protection globally, ended Webber.