|Title||Palm oil must not get wider access to EU under Indonesia trade talks, say activists|
|Date||2018-03-09 PM 4:55:47||Hit||25|
Environmental activists have called for the issue of palm oil to be excluded from discussions taking place this week between the Indonesian government and a European Union trade delegation.
They fear that favorable terms for Indonesian palm oil to enter the EU market, under the auspices of the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA) currently being hashed out, will only exacerbate the issues of deforestation and land conflicts that have long dogged the palm oil industry in the Southeast Asian nation.
Palm oil must be excluded from the negotiations, said Yuyun Harmono, campaign coordinator for the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), “because open market access will benefit corporations and worsen climate change and social conflicts.”
A key sticking point for activists worried about a freer flow of Indonesian palm oil into the EU market is the issue of efforts to improve environmental sustainability in the industry.
Paul de Clerck, head of the economic justice team at the European chapter of the world’s biggest grassroots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International (FOEI), said he had seen a leaked document from the Indonesian government which laid out the government’s proposals for palm oil in the I-EU CEPA negotiations.
Palm oil must be excluded from the negotiations because open market access will benefit corporations and worsen climate change and social conflicts.
Yuyun Harmono, campaign coordinator,Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi)
He said the pitch called for the EU to ditch both tariff and non-tariff barriers, including prevailing environmental and health standards, to allow full access for Indonesian palm oil to the 28-nation EU market.
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