Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed a recent moratorium on new palm oil concession permits. During the three-year freeze, the government will undertake a comprehensive nationwide review of oil palm licenses and develop efforts to enhance productivity – particularly for smallholders. This move is seen as a significant step forward to improving governance in this sector. But is this enough? How can we ensure the existing palm oil supply is sustainable, reduce the negative impact on the environment while at the same time improving the performance of smallholders who are linked to palm oil supply chains, and depend on it for their livelihoods? Research conducted at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) led by senior associate Pablo Pacheco examines how public regulations and private standards can address three major performance gaps affecting the palm oil sector. The study was focused on Indonesia – the world’s largest palm oil producer.
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