Workshop on sustainable palm oil trade in Manokwari, West Papua province, 19 February 2020

Courtesy of Sonya Dyah Kusumadewi and Dyah Puspitaloka, August 2020

Through its Scientific Advocacy Support Mechanism for Sustainable Development in Papua and West Papua project funded by UKCCU and Trade, Development and Environment Hub – Trade Hub project funded by UKRI GCRF, CIFOR together with IPB University and the West Papua Food Crops, Horticulture and Plantations Office held a joint workshop in Manokwari, West Papua province on 9 February 2020. The workshop, on the theme of Sustainable Oil Palm Plantations and Presidential Instruction No. 6/2019: Towards Sustainable Palm Oil Trading, was held to support stakeholder efforts to establish sustainable oil palm plantation management in Indonesia. The workshop aimed to gain an up-to-date understanding of plantation and industry progress in West Papua, including opportunities and challenges facing oil palm actors regarding compliance with sustainability principles, as well as important issues relating to sustainable palm oil trading. It was also an opportunity to introduce the Trade Hub project, which will be conducting research activities in West Papua province. The workshop also aimed to identify opportunities for and challenges to implementing the ISPO standard and other sustainability schemes in West Papua, to anticipate the implementation of Presidential Instruction No. 6/2019 on the National Action Plan for Sustainable Palm Oil (RAN-KSB) for 2019-2024 and the Manokwari Declaration on sustainable development in indigenous territories, and to identify important issues relating to policies and practices driving sustainable oil palm plantations in West Papua to formulate co-research and solution designs.

The workshop was opened by West Papua Governor, Drs. Dominggus Mandacan, followed by a welcoming address from the Head of the West Papua Provincial Food Crops, Horticulture and Plantations Office, Yacob S. Fonataba. Of the 85 participating stakeholders in attendance, more than 50% were from provincial government institutions.

Workshop on sustainable oil palm plantations in Manokwari, West Papua.

Discussions were divided into four sessions. The first session, moderated by Agus Feriyanto Wally, had two panelists: Prasetya Djati of the Directorate General of Plantations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Professor Herry Purnomo from CIFOR. Prasetya highlighted the rationale behind the issuance of Presidential Instruction No. 6/2019 on RAN-KSB and provided an overview of different components and activities specified in the instruction. Professor Herry presented major issues relating to the global trade in palm oil and internationally recognized sustainability principles and standards, and discussed how to reconcile economic and conservation interests.

The second session, moderated by Benidiktus Hery, had three panelists: West Papua Food Crops, Horticulture and Plantations head, Jacob S. Fonatana who talked about recent oil palm plantation development and local government efforts to improve governance of the sector; Dr. Samy Saiba from the West Papua Public Works and Spatial Planning Office, who highlighted provincial land-use plans and local government efforts to realize the province’s sustainable development goals by adopting environmental friendly land-use plans; and Dwi Purwanto from the only certified oil palm company in West Papua, who presented the company’s experiences and lessons learned from implementing sustainability practices.

During the third session, Dr. Suria Tarigan from IPB led a discussion on the research and capacity building aspects of sustainable palm oil governance and trade. In the last session, Benidiktus Hery led a short discussion on the importance of following up on the presidential instruction, and the Governor’s duty to form a multi-stakeholder forum and develop a provincial action plan for sustainable palm oil.

Key points from the workshop were:

  1. Presidential Instruction No. 6/2019 accelerates commitments to sustainable palm oil, including in West Papua
  2. There are opportunities for reconciling interests in economic growth, environmental conservation and community wellbeing
  3. Collaborative, multi-stakeholder and transdisciplinary approaches supported by science are needed for decision making
  4. Specific business models are needed for indigenous peoples in West Papua.

Together with Trade Hub research partners and the Value Chains, Finance, and Investment team, the CIFOR team plans to conduct the following activities for science-based policy advocacy towards sustainable oil palm development in West Papua: (1) stakeholder mapping; (2) developing a strategy for engaging stakeholders in project processes, particularly key local government, private, and financial actors concerned with oil palm commodities; (3) reviewing existing work on levers of change and barriers to private sector action on sustainable trade, and reviewing the prevalence, implementation, and efficacy of corporate sustainability practices and disclosure policies in relation to trade in palm oil; (4) organizing a series of meetings to explore the implications of key research findings; and (5) facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues on sustainable trade.

Media coverage of the event:

For any inquiries regarding Trade Hub Indonesia, please contact Sonya Dyah (

Visit the Trade Hub global website here.

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Stakeholder consultation by Trade Hub researchers

Courtesy of Sonya Dyah Kusumadewi and Dyah Puspitaloka, August 2020

The Indonesia Trade Hub team, consisting of CIFOR, WCS Indonesia, IPB University and University of Indonesia, started its scoping activities by identifying key stakeholders to engage through its scoping study, existing networks, and a posteriori knowledge. The team then held stakeholder consultations with three key national government institutions between December 2019 and February 2020. Meetings were held with the Deputy of Trade and Industry Affairs, and the Deputy of Food and Agriculture Affairs under the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs; the Trade Analysis and Development Agency under the Ministry of Trade; and the Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The objectives of these meetings were to inform key stakeholders of and introduce them to the Trade Hub project; initiate engagement to gain their input, insights and support; and to invite them to a project kick-off meeting in March 2020 as well as to future events and activities

Meeting with the Deputy of Food and Agriculture Affairs under the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs

(Trade Hub team from CIFOR, WCS Indonesia, RCCC UI, and IPB University)

Meeting with the Ministry of Trade’s Trade Analysis and Development Agency

 (Trade Hub team from CIFOR, RCCC UI and IPB).

Meeting with the MoEF Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation team

(Trade Hub team from CIFOR, WCS Indonesia, RCCC UI and UNILA).

The research team received valuable insights and input regarding key issues and what kinds of research would be useful for the country. Stakeholders welcomed the Trade Hub Indonesia team and were interested in its research topics. The project will continue its engagement with key stakeholders in government and other relevant institutions to ensure important actors are kept informed and invited to participate in project processes.

For any inquiries regarding Trade Hub Indonesia, please contact Sonya Dyah (

Visit the Trade Hub global website here.

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