KUALA LUMPUR, November 20, 2015: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) 12th General Assembly and 13th Roundtable has ended with new commitments to RSPO NEXT, jurisdictional approach, smallholders, RSPO Auditing procedures and improving the Annual Communication on Progress. The three-day conference themed “Global Vision | Regional Action: From 2015 to 2020”, was attended by over 800 delegates from 44 countries. Notable successes were:
● Agreement reached on the definition of RSPO NEXT criteria for growers and, a framework for the concept of commensurate efforts of supporting uptake of RSPO NEXT in the market place. RSPO NEXT is a new voluntary addendum to the core RSPO Principles & Criteria that brings the rigor of RSPO systems and audits to the claims of ‘No Deforestation, No Peat Planting and strengthened Human Rights commitments.
● Commitments by the Governors of Sabah, Central Kalimantan and South Sumatera to Jurisdictional Certification to ensure all palm oil produced within their state jurisdiction will be certified sustainable in the years to come.
● The General Assembly has approved Resolution 6h as the RSPO has committed to ensuring quality, oversight and credibility of RSPO assessments by developing clear and mandatory guidelines to improve the quality of High Conservation Value and Free Prior & Informed Consent in the New Planting Procedure assessments, as well as to monitor the quality and performance of Auditors.
● The General Assembly has also approved Resolution 6f on RSPO’s commitment to develop a new comprehensive strategy to address challenges faced by the smallholders, and mobilise their full potential as a force for sustainability.
● Submissions of the Annual Communications of Progress (ACOP) by members for the year 2014/2015 increased from 59% to 68%. To further develop the process of ACOP, the General Assembly approved Resolution 6g in order to improve the quality and accuracy
of information submitted by its members.
● However, the RSPO has again this year taken stringent measures on members notcomplying to the submission criteria resulting in 15 member organisations terminated and another 20 suspended. A complete list is available here.
● After 4 years of discussions, the concept of Remediation and Compensation Procedures will become a reality as the RSPO Board of Governors, including Producers, Supply Chain, Financial Institutions, Social and Environmental NGO constituencies, has given its
endorsement to the procedures. The RSPO welcomes this process as a long sought after potential solution to the contentious topic of addressing and remediating for land cleared without prior HCV assessment.
“This year’s RT13 was a huge success. We are seeing a lot of positive momentum amongst producers and in the markets, including now China where they are implementing guidelines for sustainable palm oil and the China-UK bilateral collaboration in promoting trade and consumption of CSPO in China. So finally China has moved from being a distant challenge, to being a part of the solution,” said Datuk Darrel Webber, Secretary-General of RSPO.
Co-Chair of RSPO, Biswaranjan Sen said, “RSPO has shown significant progress over the last year as the total global certified area increased by nine percent. The main palm oil producing countries of Indonesia and Malaysia continued to make headway, but there has been an increase of 37 percent in certified area in Africa, and over 30,000 hectares were certified in the rest of Asia-Pacific. While this is positive, there is a need to build a stronger sense of shared responsibility between growers and the supply chain – everyone needs to commit to a journey of continuous improvement”.
In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably-produced palm oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with satellite offices in Jakarta, London and Zoetermeer (NL).
RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry – oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs – to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.
Such multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Executive Board and project-level Working Groups are fairly allocated to each sector. In this way, RSPO lives out the philosophy of the "roundtable" by giving equal rights to each stakeholder group to bring group-specific agendas to the roundtable, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders and business competitors to work together towards a common objective and make decisions by consensus.
For further information, kindly contact:
Contacts for RSPO:
Global Outreach and Engagement Director
T: (+60-3) 2287-8689
Senior Manager, Edelman
T: (+60-3) 2287-8689