As published in the Jakarta Post, September 7 2017.
Oil palm fruit in Riau, Sumatra © Nicholas Hurt/UNDP-Indonesia
September 7, 2017. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched in New York on Wednesday a new program striving for an integrated approach to the sustainable production of palm oil and other agricultural commodities.
The Good Growth Partnership program will cover palm oil, beef and soy, with a total budget of US$45 million funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The program will focus on a few countries, namely Indonesia and Liberia on palm oil, Brazil on soy and Paraguay on beef.
“Palm oil, soy and beef are a key part of the global commodities trade and have become dominant economic forces in many local and national economies, including supporting the livelihoods of many small-scale rural farmers and their communities,” Andrew Bovarnick, global head of the UNDP Green Commodities Program, said during the launching.
“Our aim is to develop models for intervention that can be replicated in other commodities and other geographies.”
The program will run for four years, and in Indonesia, it will focus on three provinces, namely Riau, West Kalimantan and North Sumatra. Total funding for the archipelago is $6 million.
“The $6 million will [be allocated] in the next four years. But also a lot of global funds, like the expertise, will be coming to support Indonesia,” Bovarnick explained.
The program aims to develop “forward-thinking business and financing models” to manage sustainable palm oil production while also protecting forests and peatlands.
“To achieve this will require the combined efforts of governments, farmers, businesses, financiers, consumers and civil society organizations,” Bovarnick said.