KONTAN.CO.ID - The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) will attend an upcoming summit on the development of the oil palm sector at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
GAPKI chairman Joko Supriyono is scheduled to speak on Sept. 6 about the actions and roles of businesspeople related to sustainability issues of the commodity, the largest contributor to the country’s foreign exchange.
"We will also have informal meetings with related stakeholders during our upcoming visit to the US," Supriyono said in a statement released on Saturday, as reported by antaranews.com.
GAPKI and representatives of the Indonesian government are attending the summit by invitation from the UNDP, which has initiated the forums on sustainability issues in select economic sectors. The UNDP has also invited representatives of the Brazilian and Liberian governments, as well as business leaders.
Palm oil is Indonesia’s main non-oil and gas export, contributing US$18.5 billion in exports last year. The sector also absorbs more than 5 million workers and encourages economic growth in rural areas.
"We agree that the management of oil palm plantations should be sustainable, and that is why we want to discuss with the UN to realize sustainable palm oil management," Supriyono said, as reported by antara.
Indonesia's palm oil sector has been criticized by the US and the European Union on suspicions that it is not applying sustainable practices, but Supriyono said that the demand for palm oil continued to increase.
Editor: Rizki Caturini