The RSPO wishes to congratulate the State Government of Sabah’s bold decision today to launch a 10-year jurisdictional program to have all crude palm oil (CPO) produced from Sabah to be certified as sustainable palm oil or CSPO. This move to implement the world’s first jurisdictional commitments on sustainable palm oil production marks a very important step forward for the future of this industry. The RSPO is fully supportive of the State Government’s decision, and can see long term benefits from this program.

The jurisdictional approach is a more structured approach from previous efforts to establish wider commitments to sustainable practices in this sector. With the local Sabah State Government agreeing to RSPO certification guidelines, this will ensure that everyone, from large multinational plantation owners to smallholders, will comply with the program.

This move by the Sabah State Government also has a great potential to inspire other regions to follow suit. Using a structured, jurisdictional approach is an effective way to  maximise the positive impacts of sustainably produced palm oil. To date, Kalimantan and other Indonesian provinces as well as officials in Africa and Latin America are working towards similar commitments. This jurisdictional program adopted by Sabah will now set a new wave of change in the palm oil industry, paving the way for a future where sustainable practices will become the industry standard. This approach will now provide others with a valuable roadmap toward sustainable change.

With the 10-year approach in place, it is hoped that statewide RSPO certification will see stakeholders working together to overcome productivity, environmental and social issues affecting the industry. This will bode well for local growers since they will have greater flexibility in meeting the demands of current and future markets. Using RSPO certification across the board will also raise the bar in attracting large downstream actors in the supply chain to invest in Sabah.

Datuk Darrel Webber, Secretary General of the RSPO commented: “This move from the state government, led by Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman, shows great foresight in future-proofing a very important economic activity in Sabah. Even more importantly it’s a move that signals a jurisdiction that is seriously preparing to transition into a greener and more resilient economy”

“We have enjoyed a great working relationship with the Sabah Forestry Department, led by Datuk Sam Mannan, and we look forward to working with the Secretary of the Natural Resources Office to realise this initiative”

The RSPO congratulates the Sabah State Government and Cabinet once again on this decision to adopt the ten-year jurisdictional approach to sustainable palm oil certification across the state.

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