Indonesia Takes a Stand Against European Deforestation Regulation

deforestation (illustration) (photo: roya ann miller - Unsplash)

The Minister of Coordinating Economic Affairs is scheduled to embark on a journey to Brussels, Belgium on May 30-31, 2023, leading a mission aimed at rejecting the allegedly discriminatory deforestation ban policy in Europe.

Indonesia, alongside the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), consisting of several nations, will directly present proposals to a multitude of European Commission officials and legislators of the European Parliament concerning the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).

This particular regulation, widely perceived as discriminatory, poses a potential negative impact on market accessibility for various commodities, with a special emphasis on palm oil, within the European Union. The Minister underlined the burdens faced by small-scale farmers, highlighting the requirement to comply with administrative procedures imposed by the regulation.

In an official statement, the Minister stated, “We want to emphasize that the EUDR places a burden on small farmers, as they are compelled to adhere to the administrative procedures outlined in the regulations” (Wednesday, May 24, 2023).

Furthermore, Minister Airlangga emphasized that the implementation of this regulation could inadvertently exclude the invaluable contributions of small-scale farmers in the global supply chain, ultimately failing to acknowledge their significance and fundamental rights.

Consequently, the mission intends to identify and deliberate on potential measures to alleviate the burdensome effects of the EUDR, particularly focusing on palm oil smallholders and other affected commodity producers.

It is noteworthy that the Deforestation Regulation necessitates companies engaged in the sale of palm oil, beef, timber, coffee, chocolate, rubber, and soybeans to ensure that their products are not derived from deforested areas. In addition to palm oil, this regulation also encompasses various manufactured goods such as chocolate, furniture, and printed paper.

Consequently, multiple stakeholders, ranging from farmers to palm oil entrepreneurs, have voiced their concerns and even threatened to boycott European Union products if the ban is not lifted.

The European Parliament has already granted its approval for the implementation of the EUDR, an encompassing law that governs the trade of deforestation-free commodities.

This significant legislation officially came into effect on May 16, 2023, marking a crucial milestone in the global efforts to combat deforestation and ensure sustainable trade practices.