Harnessing Political Economy and Global Green Trade to Increase Indonesia’s Palm Oil Sustainability

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Key messages

  • The palm oil sector is a key contributor to the Indonesian economy; however, its negative environmental and social impacts are of growing concern at national and global levels.
  • The green movement and global trade flows provide tangible opportunities to sustainably restructure palm oil development in Indonesia.
  • Our research suggests that sustainability in the palm oil sector is dependent on the provision of continued employment and the eradication of deforestation.
  • This brief recommends strengthening key institutions and structures in the sector, together with influencing key actors and green consumer behaviour to improve palm oil sustainability.
  • This brief identifies the Indonesian Government as the actor with the most direct influence on palm oil sustainability in the country.
  • This brief notes that trade, political economy and technical economy scenarios to improve palm oil sustainability are available and should be better understood and implemented by key actors in the sector.


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