The Side-Event during the 2022 ECOSOC High Level Political Forum “Catalyzing Actions for Sustainable Vegetable Oils in Support of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” 10 - 15 July 2022
The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) in cooperation with the Governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and the International Coconut Community (ICC) has conducted a side event during the 2022 the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High Level Political Forum with the main theme of “Catalyzing Actions for Sustainable Vegetable Oils in Support of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. The side event was highlighted by a webinar that took place on 11 July 2022.
It was graced by the presence of Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Airlangga Hartarto and the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin. The webinar brought together speakers from the Government of Indonesia and Malaysia, the United Nations Agency, smallholders’ representative from the Philippines and International Coconut Community.
The event served as an avenue to promote public awareness on emerging trends and actions in ensuring sustainability across all types of vegetable oils and identify opportunities for the next steps and joint effort implementation of promoting sustainable vegetable oils across both producer and consumers countries. To this end, the event managed to introduce the Global Framework Principles for Sustainable Palm Oil (GFP-SPO).
In their keynote remarks, both ministers highlighted the rising demand of global vegetable oils and the importance of meeting the global sustainability standards. Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs the Republic of Indonesia Airlangga Hartarto asserted that the size of global market for vegetable oils is predicted to be increased from 199.1 million Mt in 2020 to 258.4 million Mt by 2026 by taking into account the growing global population and widespread use of vegetable oils in various industries. As such, it was important to ensure the continuity of enough supply of vegetable oils to the global market so as to prevent further price volatility and shocks to the global economy. Indonesia emphasized for the agriculture commodities including vegetable oils to meet the global sustainability standard.
In this regard, the common efforts to ensure sustainability in the global vegetable oil market should be conducted in holistic and non-discriminatory manners. Furthermore, such efforts should broadly take into account international agreement such as UN SDGs 2030 as well as Paris Agreement. Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin emphasized that the Global Framework of Principles for Sustainable Palm Oil (GFP-SPO) can be used as a common reference across different certification schemes applied primarily to palm oil production which anchored the UN SDGs as its base.
Although GFP-SPO is developed through the palm oil lenses to measure the contribution of palm oil towards achieving sustainable development, it can actually be used as sustainability reference for other types of vegetable oils such as soya bean, rapeseed, sunflower, and others. Therefore, it is important for ECOSOC HLPF to recognize the Global Framework of Principles for Sustainable Palm Oil as a step forward in accepting palm oil as sustainable vegetable oil in line with the SDG principles.
The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to United Nations in New York, H. E. Arrmanantha Cristiawan Nasir and Deputy Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations in New York H.E. Azril Abdul Aziz conveyed welcoming remarks in this event. It continued with presentations by the following speakers:
Mr. Andrew Bovarnick, Global Head, Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems, UNDP
Dr. Witjaksana Darmosarkoro, Director of Sustainability and Smallholders CPOPC
Ms. Jelfina Alouw, Executive Director of International Coconut Community
Mr. Roel M. Rosales -Deputy Administrator, Operations Branch of the Philippine Coconut Authority - Department of Agriculture, Philippines
Ms. Shreen Xaviar, Senior Manager, R&D and Sustainability, Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA)
In his concluding remarks, the Executive Director of CPOPC Dr. Rizal Affandi Lukman reasserted his utmost responsibility to ensure that palm oil producers and consumers as well as other stakeholders, are fully aware of the significant socioeconomic impact of the palm oil sector to sustainability and community development.
CPOPC hopes that this Framework can be globally considered as the foundations for the establishment of a sustainability of vegetable oils platform. CPOPC stands ready to be engaged with in realizing the commitment towards global sustainable development.
The event also displayed a virtual exhibition (VE) on 10-15 July 2022, where 24 exhibitors/stakeholders from vegetable oils producing countries showcased their best practices and experiences supporting the SDGs.