Get the CIFOR publications update

CIFOR publishes over 400 publications every year on forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy, agroforestry and much more in multiple languages.

The governance arrangements of sustainable oil palm initiatives in Indonesia: Multilevel interactions between public and private actors

The governance arrangements of sustainable oil palm initiatives in Indonesia: Multilevel interactions between public and private actors

Key messages

  • Different types of interactions are emerging involving public and private (non-state) actors across sustainability initiatives in the palm oil sector in Indonesia.
  • Such initiatives include the development of government standards for sustainable palm oil, legislation related to the setting aside of conservation areas, a ‘wave’ of provincial and district Green Growth programs, a focus on jurisdictional approaches, and efforts around smallholder registration. These have been accompanied by the emergence of a number of political ‘champions’ in the form of provincial and district leaders.
  • Some initiatives can help to implement immediate specific sustainability objectives by filling implementation gaps, by bearing some operational costs and by speeding up regulatory change.
  • To bring about the transformation and to move beyond a proliferation of pilot schemes, interactions would need to survive political cycles and align with on-going national processes of reform around natural resource policy.
  • Those initiatives intended as innovative pilots or to kick start a process in unclear legal contexts may benefit from acting quickly outside of more formal state systems. However, there are clear benefits in integrating initiatives into existing executive systems to help weather and uncertain electoral cycles.
  • Some actions by non-state actors act to strengthen the capacity of public authority and accountability, whereas others can weaken or undermine these public systems.

Authors: Luttrell, C.; Komarudin, H.; Zrust, M.; Pacheco, P.; Limberg, G.; Nurfatriani, F.; Wibowo, L.R.; Hakim, I.; Pirard, R.

Topic: oil palms, governance, public sector, private sector

Geographic: Indonesia

Series: CIFOR Infobrief no. 218

Pages: 6p

Publisher: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia

Publication Year: 2018

DOI: 10.17528/cifor/006901

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Altmetric score:

Download Option:

Export Citation

Related viewing


CIFOR website usability survey

We're conducting research on our website and we'd love to hear from you about your experience on This will help us make improvements and prioritize new features. The survey should only take 5 minutes, and your responses are completely anonymous.

If you have any questions about the survey, please email us:

We really appreciate your input!

Start survey
I don’t want to participate
Remind me later