Sabah Moves Forward To RSPO Certification

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KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is now officially recognised by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) – the most recognised sustainability certification in the world – having successfully achieved step one of the four steps employed by RSPO for a jurisdictional approach to certified sustainable palm oil. 


This achievement reflects a significant milestone in Sabah’s quest to position itself as a global leader in sustainable palm oil.

The official recognition was handed and witnessed by an audience of international stakeholders across the supply chain, including buyers, traders and bankers at the RSPO RT 2023 – the Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Nov 21, this year.

Sabah is a significant palm oil producer. In 2022, Sabah’s palm oil production was recorded at 4.29 million tonnes, accounting for 5.76pc of global palm oil production and contributing to 9.6pc of Sabah’s overall GDP.    

A jurisdictional approach focuses on certifying an entire landscape – in the case of Sabah, certifying the State’s collective palm oil as RSPO certified. At present, 26pc of Sabah’s palm oil is RSPO certified.

As part of step one, Sabah, through the Sabah Jurisdictional Approach for Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative (Jaspo), has laid the foundation for implementation of the jurisdictional approach in Sabah that, among others, would benefit the collective smallholders in Sabah whose oil palm planted areas account for a significant chunk of Sabah’s 1.51 million hectares of oil palm planted areas.

Ultimately, the recognition signals a move in the right direction for Sabah towards realising the Government’s goal of 100pc RSPO certified palm oil by 2025. 

Once the State completes all four steps, it will be deemed as fully compliant to RSPO’s principles and criteria and recognised as an RSPO member.

This means that all palm oil coming from Sabah, whether produced by large industry players or by 53,000 smallholders, will be recognised as sustainably produced.

“In pursuing a jurisdictional approach, Sabah has embarked on a bold journey and has succeeded in completing the first step.  

“The key to a continued progress of Sabah’s jurisdictional approach will depend on the ongoing collaboration between stakeholders and collective support for the approach from relevant parties.

“Moving upwards from step one is a journey that will be filled with both challenges and opportunities and will no doubt take time.  

“However, we are at the cusp of something transformational, and there are indeed plenty opportunities for all to play a role.   

“It is therefore paramount that our stakeholders, especially from the downstream supply chains, both internationally and locally seize the opportunity now to support this initiative in order to keep the momentum going,” said Datuk Frederick Kugan, Chief Conservator of Forests of Sabah Forestry Department.

Source: Daily Express News Portal

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