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Earth Day 2022 marked a special occasion for RSPO to take nearly 300 participants from around the world on a virtual tour to oil palm plantations and orangutan conservation areas in Kalimantan, Indonesia, which are managed responsibly by Indonesian RSPO members. Through the eyes of Indonesian palm oil producers, participants were able to observe sustainable practices aligned with RSPO’s certification standards, and gained a deeper understanding of how sustainable palm oil can positively impact people, prosperity and the planet.
The latest installment is part of the series of virtual tours replacing the physical visits that RSPO had regularly conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The series are innovative and experiential learning experiences aimed at educating audiences worldwide about the value of RSPO certification, using advanced technological platforms and media. RSPO carried out this virtual tour in collaboration with Bumitama Gunajaya Agro (BGA), Sawit Sumbermas Sarana (SSMS), the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), and Youth in Sustainability (YiS).
“Everyone joining this virtual tour is able to see first-hand, albeit virtually, how the RSPO Principles and Criteria standards are implemented in our member plantations,” said Irene Fischbach, RSPO Director of Stakeholder Engagement & Communications. “We hope this provides an educational and informative platform for all parties responsible for driving the transformation of the sustainable palm oil market, especially those in Asia Pacific and Europe.”
“Our goal is to encourage the next generation of leaders to become smart, responsible consumers by encouraging them to voice lifestyle changes,” said Adhitya Latif Prahesta, National Coordinator of YiS Indonesia. “We invite all young people around the world to join us so that together we can consistently support a sustainable environment, one of which is by supporting the practice of sustainable palm oil, helping us to achieve our noble ideals of achieving a better world.”
Some participants of the tour also shared their positive experiences. “The harmony between the mills and the communities really impressed me a lot. Such a great job and effort to create this harmonious environment,” said Will, a representative from Impact Hub Shanghai.
Raising awareness of palm oil’s sustainable side
RSPO aims to encourage all parties, in both producing and consuming countries, to take a more holistic approach to the topic of palm oil – an approach that considers the range of challenges and situations faced by growers, particularly smallholder farmers, in various oil palm producing regions.
Through credible, sustainable certification standards like the RSPO Principles and Criteria, oil palm growers are equipped with the necessary tools to halt deforestation, protect forests, wildlife habitats and areas of biodiversity, and safeguard the rights of local and indigenous communities and workers while also improving their livelihoods.