The Malaysian government has granted RSPO permission to make its members’ concession maps in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak publicly available
KUALA LUMPUR, 12 DECEMBER 2019: Today, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Secretariat published members’ oil palm concession maps for Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak on its interactive map application GeoRSPO – a milestone set to deliver greater transparency to the sustainable palm oil sector.
Previously, these maps were not published due to ambiguity around the legality of making them publicly available, but now all palm oil concession boundaries of RSPO members in Malaysia are publicly available, and display relevant data including active hotspots, tree cover loss, tree cover gain and more.
RSPO Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Darrel Webber said, “We are pleased to be adding the member maps for Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, which completes our commitment to our members. It is a great step forward for transparency and accountability and we hope this move will bring greater objectivity to discussions on fires and other topics that have sometimes been attributed to the palm oil sector.”
Oil palm concession maps became a hot topic earlier this year due to significant transboundary haze experienced in parts of Southeast Asia. Since January 2018, the RSPO Secretariat, through its Geographic Information System (GIS) unit, have been actively monitoring hotspots with satellite technology in both RSPO certified and non-certified concessions in Malaysia and Indonesia.
With the inclusion of Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia in GeoRSPO, a total of almost 3 million hectares of certified and non certified RSPO concession area is now publicly available for monitoring.
Datuk Darrel Webber added, “We would also like to thank Jabatan Ukur dan Pemetaan Malaysia (JUPEM) and the Malaysian government for their help and support in working with RSPO on this.”
The RSPO Secretariat will continue to encourage its members to monitor their concessions on an ongoing basis, and particularly during the drier months where there can be a spike in hotspots.
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. RSPO is a not-for-profit, international, membership organisation that unites stakeholders from the different sectors of the palm oil industry including 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.
This multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Board of Governors, Steering Committees and 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, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders in working together to reach decisions by consensus, and achieving RSPO’s shared vision of making sustainable palm oil the norm.
The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with satellite offices in Jakarta (ID), London (UK), Zoetermeer (NL), Beijing (CN) and Bogotá (CO).
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|Name: Dan Strechay
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|Name: Sara Cowling
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