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Friday, 20 November 2015 | MYT 11:19 AM

Sustainable palm oil plan gets thumb-up from World Wildlife Fund

This handout picture taken and released by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) on October 26, 2015 shows baby orangutans, which had previously suffered from respiratory problems, playing at a nursery in the rehabilitation centre operated by the BOSF on the outskirts of Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan. - AFP

This handout picture taken and released by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) on October 26, 2015 shows baby orangutans, which had previously suffered from respiratory problems, playing at a nursery in the rehabilitation centre operated by the BOSF on the outskirts of Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan. - AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has come out in support for the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to launch the voluntary add-on standard, RSPO Next.

WWF said on Friday RSPO Next provides a platform for innovative growers to demonstrate best practice in sustainable palm oil and help buyers deliver on their “no deforestation” commitments.

The non-governmental organisation said at the RSPO’s 13th annual meeting, RSPO Next was featured as the next step for companies wanting to build on the RSPO principles and criteria.

“Continuous improvement was a core design feature of the RSPO, and RSPO Next is a tangible demonstration of this principle being followed,” said WWF’s lead official on palm oil Adam Harrison.

“WWF calls on all RSPO stakeholders to do their part to ensure the success of RSPO Next– Palm oil growers need to commit to implement RSPO Next, palm oil buyers need to commit to buying it and NGOs and banks need to commit to support it.”

At the meeting, the RSPO also focused on how to better deliver on the existing standard, which captures 20% of the palm oil industry, representing 12 million tonnes of palm oil and more than 3.2 million hectares of land managed to the organisation’s high environmental and social standards. 

Several districts in Indonesia and Malaysia also stepped forward to pioneer RSPO’s “jurisdictional approach” to certification. Essentially, applying to a district as a whole rather than individual mills and plantations.  

The process brings local governments, palm oil companies, and smallholders together to jointly pursue the same goal and is considered a crucial tool to make it easier for companies to act responsibly.

WWF also welcomed new initiatives to explore ways to improve and maintain the quality of the certification process and outcomes.  

“While independent third party assessment is at the heart of RSPO’s ethos, this new initiative also enshrines quality control of those assessments as a priority.   

“It is not just independence we want from the assessors, but to know they can go to a site and ask the right questions and make good judgements on the adequacy of the answers,” said Harrison

Tags / Keywords: Plantations

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