Last week the Indonesian president Yudhoyono was visiting Europe. This was a good opportunity to ask attention for a few things. One of them is the ongoing deforestation and landgrabbing for palmoil and other plantations. On the 31st of October the president was in London where, amongst other things, he was given a letter (1) in which the president was asked to make sure that the cutting down of rain forests would be stopped and the inhabitants of the forest would be protected.
The cutting down of forests and the clearing of peat lands have increased the emission of greenhouse gasses of Indonesia. Next to that there is the danger that unique species, like the Orang Utan, will die out, because there habitat is destroyed. And the local people are driven from there homes and lands with the result that they cannot grow or collect their food anymore, which leads to hunger and poverty.
At the same time, there was the 10th yearly meeting of the Round Table on Sustainable Palmoil, RSPO, on the 31st of October and the 1st of November. The vision of the RSPO is to “transform markets to make sustainabel palmoil the norm”. (2) This sounds like a noble idea, but what does the RSPO really accomplish?