“Is there such a thing as sustainable palm oil?” tanya Jo, kenalan baru saat duduk di lobi hotel, menunggu shuttle bus ke bandara Soekarno-Hatta, minggu lalu. Wisatawan asal Australia itu banyak bertanya setelah memberi tahu dia tujuanku terbang ke Riau.
Kepada dia kubilang, dulu aku juga mengajukan pertanyaan yang sama, “Mana ada produk sawit berkelanjutan?” Setelah mempelajari mengenai CSPO (certified sustainable palm oil) , aku punya harapan bahwa sawit dapat dikelola secara ramah lingkungan.
Di Sorek, Riau, aku bepergian bersama RSPO, WWF-Indonesia, grup jurnalis, serta seniman dan duta #BeliYangBaik, Nugie. Perjalanan ini adalah bagian dari kompetisi yang aku ikuti (artikelnya ada di sini). Sebelumnya aku juga telah berangkat ke Kuala Lumpur untuk menghadiri RT13 RSPO.
Destinasinya adalah perkebunan milik Musim Mas, perusahaan pertama di Indonesia yang mendapatkan sertifikasi RSPO. Tidaklah mudah mendapatkannya karena standardisasinya yang tinggi. Salut! “Sertifikat di-review setiap 5 tahun sekali,” jelas dr. Asril Darussamin, RSPO Certification Expert. Tujuan sertifikasi tidak lain adalah untuk melindungi hutan primer, area bernilai konservasi, spesies langka, dan manusia di sekitarnya. Ideal banget.
Mujur, selama acara, langit cerah dan udara segar. Agak sulit dipercaya bahwa tahun lalu, penduduk Riau menderita berbulan-bulan akibat bencana asap! Senang sekali aku bisa mengamati cara produksi sawit yang berkelanjutan. To learn further about sustainability in palm oil production, please click these pictures below for captions:
These fashionable safety boots are made for walking around the mill.
I wondered, “What life is like in the plantation: Is it exciting? Is it comfortable?” I guessed so—as long as it is haze-free. It was hard for me to believe that a year ago, the people of Riau suffered from forest haze for months!
A single tree can be harvested up to 32 times a year. Pic in the middle shows musician and #BeliYangBaik ambassador Nugie inspecting a fresh fruit bunch (FFB) he felled down. Pic at right shows a harvester as a model, carrying FFBs to the mill.
Out of Africa to Indonesia: now my beloved country is the largest producer (and consumer!) of palm oil.
An RnD dept. guy holds a bug for everyone to see. They develop a certain fungus to battle dung beetle, a natural enemy of palm oil. The practice adheres to RSPO principle of reducing chemicals in pest control.
(A caretaker and) A barn owlet, also an “employee”. His main job desc is to keep the plantation rodent-free.
A signboard with eight principles of RSPO. It also means the smallholders (farmers) obey zero burning policy during land development. In 2010, Musim Mas’ smallholder scheme became the first in Indonesia to be RSPO certified.
Musim Mas is the first plantation in Indonesia to get RSPO certification in 2009. At the mill, the liquid waste is treated before used in plantation. The solid waste is used as fuel.
A dome structure where methane of palm oil processing is captured to power electricity here at the plant. It adheres to minimal gaseous waste policy.
Life at the plantation is like a small city inside a thick forest (of palm oil trees). There are houses, clinics, supermarket, schools, houses of worship and many more infrastructures. Here the elementary students, who are the cildren of the plantation’s workers, perform some compositions to greet us. Hope they grow to love the environment.
In order to restore an area with high conservation value, such as this riparian zone, Musim Mas planted it with agarwood (gaharu), shorea (meranti), mahogany (mahoni). RSPO has the toughest standards for sustainable palm oil production to ensure that primary forests, areas with high conservation values, endangered species and livehood are protected.
Almost everything we consume contains palm oil and its derivatives: shampoo, lip balm, face wash, toothpaste, body wash, body lotion; ice cream, pizza dough, instant noodle; detergent, fabric softener; shoe polish, floor cleaner. Your car might use palm oil derivatives and your pets might eat pet food made of palm oil’s glycerin. That is why we need palm oil and its derivatives to be sustainably produced.
Excerpt: We are literally drenched in palm oil. Almost every thing we consume contains palm oil and its derivatives: shampoo, lip balm, face wash, toothpaste, body wash, body lotion; ice cream, pizza dough, instant noodle; detergent, fabric softener; shoe polish, floor cleaner. Even your car might use palm oil derivatives and your pets might eat pet food made of palm oil’s glycerin. That is why we need palm oil and its derivatives to be sustainably produced.