Presidential Instruction (Inpres) Number 8/2018 concerning Suspension and Evaluation of Permits and Increasing Productivity of Palm Oil Plantations or commonly referred to as the palm oil moratorium will expire September 19, 2021. The Indonesian Conservation Community Warsi urges the president to extend the palm oil moratorium. This extension is important considering that there are still many tasks to improve oil palm governance, resolve conflicts over tenure and ecological problems caused by the massive development of oil palm plantations that have not been handled properly.
For Jambi Province, the existence of oil palm plantations is quite dominant. Almost a quarter of Jambi Province has become oil palm plantations. From KKI Warsi’s data, there are 1.3 million ha of oil palm plantations, either owned by companies or owned by the community.
Rudi Syaf, Director of KKI Warsi, said that further efforts were needed regarding the palm oil moratorium. “There are still many problems with existing oil palm plantations, such as tenure conflicts and oil palm on peatlands that do not meet the principles of sustainable peat management,” said Rudi Syaf.
In addition, the current land tenure for plantations shows an imbalance between the company and the community. On the other hand, the company is still very strong for additional business land, so that it has an impact on efforts to manage community areas with certain patterns. This condition, from a social point of view, will cause the community to lose their cultivated land and in the end they become workers in the company. “In the end, this inequality will only impoverish the people who own the land,” he said.
In addition, ecologically, the presence of oil palm mainly on peatlands must be evaluated. “Almost every dry season, oil palm plantations in peat areas experience fires, canal blocking as a requirement to maintain the peat water level has not been carried out,” said Rudi.
Likewise, tenure conflicts involving indigenous peoples, as experienced by Orang Rimba. From KKI Warsi data, there are 441 Orang Rimba families living under oil palm plantations in Jambi Province, namely in the concessions of PT Sari Aditya Loka, Astra Group in Merangin and Sarolangun Regencies, PT Bahana Karya Semesta (SMART) Sarolangun District, PT Kresna Duta Agroindo (SMART) Sarolangun, PT Sawit Harum Makmur, Citra Sawit Harum (Group Harum) in Bungo Regency and PT Satya Kisma Usaha (SMART) in Bungo.
“The Orang Rimba who live in this oil palm plantation area have not yet been accommodated, there is no recognition of their living space for their survival,” said Rudi.
So that the tenurial conflicts that occur have not been resolved. More seriousness is needed, both from the government as the permit giver to the permit recipient company to responsibly accommodate the land needs of the indigenous peoples in it.
The palm oil moratorium is considered very important for the restoration of ecology and fairness of land use. The expansion of oil palm plantations is already very high, even to other use areas (APL) that should be managed by the community.
The current oil palm plantations are considered sufficient. It’s time for Indonesia to develop various other plants, which are more environmentally friendly and also have high economic value. As the president’s wish was conveyed several years ago in front of recipients of social forestry permits in Jambi in 2018. Our palm oil is already very extensive, and we must develop other commodities that are also of economic value and are also ecologically good.
Therefore, according to Rudi, the extension of the palm oil moratorium needs to be carried out even permanently. We must change towards the diversity of commodities in order to maintain the ecological, economic and social balance in society. “In addition, it is necessary to make a flow map to solve this already very complex problem, so that the efforts made are not in vain,” concluded Rudi.