Papua oil palm plans may benefit migrants more than local poor — report

A worker pushing a wheelbarrow full of fertilizer at an oil palm plantation in Papua, Indonesia. Agus Andrianto, Center for International Forestry Research

A worker pushing a wheelbarrow full of fertilizer at an oil palm plantation in Papua, Indonesia. Agus Andrianto, Center for International Forestry Research

BOGOR, Indonesia (29 April 2014) — Indonesia may miss out on a chance to boost socio-economic benefits for the poor in the eastern province of Papua unless it creates a development plan to address disparities caused by the rapid increase in oil palm plantation investments, according to a new report.

Oil palm production is considered a means to stimulate the economy, reduce poverty and improve livelihoods through related job creation and wage hikes — but without well-planned integration policies, key industry players will remain the biggest beneficiaries, the report said.

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Editor’s Note: The oil palm industry will be a key theme of discussion at the upcoming Forests Asia Summit, 5-6 May in Jakarta, Indonesia. A discussion forum at the Summit, Improving private sector and smallholder participation and performance in sustainable oil palm development, will explore how private sector performance in environmental and social compliance can be improved across the board in the face of rapid deforestation in ASEAN member states. You can watch this session LIVE online at forestsasia.org/live starting at 3:15 p.m. WIB (GMT+7) on Monday, 5 May. Read here for more details.

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