Seventh Roundtable conference sees record turnout
Last week, participants from more than 20 countries (including China) attended an open Roundtable
conference on sustainable palm oil in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The conference, organized by the
RSPO, was followed by a meeting of the General Assembly of the RSPO itself.
With 811 participants, turnout at the open Roundtable conference shattered last year's record of 550,
demonstrating growing interest in the growth and use of sustainable palm oil.
At the conference, RSPO President Jan Kees Vis presented the
RSPO's latest market figures. They show that the RSPO has created
a real and viable market for sustainably produced palm oil, with
more than 1.1 million tonnes of certified palm oil produced over the
last 12 months and recent market uptake close to 50 percent.
The meetings brought new consensus among RSPO members and
others about the need to continue the work and to build on it in the future.
Work to continue on criteria related to carbon emissions
In the run-up to RSPO's General Assembly meeting, the RSPO's Greenhouse Gas (GHG) working
group issued recommendations on ways to integrate potential effects on carbon emissions into the
RSPO's current criteria for sustainable palm oil production. The working group did not yet reach
consensus on all the issues.
The RSPO's executive board, in which all stakeholder categories are represented, said in a statement
that "RSPO members are firmly committed to tackle their greenhouse gas emissions and to optimize
their contribution to tackling climate change through flexible but time-defined voluntary actions." Such
actions would follow recommendations of the GHG working group not related to land use change,
such as reducing fossil fuel use, reducing methane emissions from effluent lagoons, reducing fertilizer
inputs, and management of peat land ground water levels. A number of RSPO members have
announced that they will begin to do so.
The RSPO's executive board asked a follow-up GHG working group to work on building consensus
about the most complex issues, for example by initiating dialogue at government level about potential
effects of palm oil production on greenhouse gas emissions.