Indonesia, represented by Badan Standardidasi Nasional (BSN) has been part of the UNFSS’s National Initiative network since 2016. BSN has been involved in several VSS-related activities and have also witnessed the launch of their counterpart’s National Platform. This November, Indonesia will be taking a leap forward into establishing an informed dialogue on VSS at national level. In collaboration with the German Development Institute (DIE) Managing Global Governance (MGG) programme, the International Seminar “Public Awareness and Internal Meeting on Voluntary Sustainability Standards” to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 28-29 November, sets a crucial first step towards the trajectory of a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform. (See Agenda)
Indonesia, as it stands today is 26th largest exporter in the world with 8.41% of its total exports being led by Palm Oil. The Palm Oil industry itself generates about US$13.9 billion of foreign exchange in 2016, with India being the biggest importer (25%) followed by China (12%). Earlier this year, an agreement, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on sustainable Palm Oil production was signed between the Indonesian Palm Oil Board (DMSI), the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) of India and civil organization Solidaridad Network Asia as “a way forward to create a sustainable model for Indonesia, which is good for smallholders as well as consumers of Palm Oil in India” Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) President.
In light with the movement towards sustainable palm oil, UNFSS will partake in the dialogue to shed more light on the establishment of the National Platform on VSS in Indonesia. These National Platforms are meant to address challenges that producers, consumers, exporters face with regards to VSS in local context, namely information asymmetries. They function as a dialogue facilitator, a body that adapts external standards to domestic conditions, a liaison extending international networks and expertise, a knowledge-sharing instrument through building a VSS ecosystem and a facilitator that links policy making with research and analysis, among many other critical roles. Governments should be driving transformational changes and VSS as an important tool that can help public sector entities promote their own green growth policies. Rather than taking individual actions, governments can join forces with the private sector and civil society to reap the sustainability benefits of VSS. To learn more about the VSS National Platforms, visit UNFSS National Platform and National Platform Activities.