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Jakarta Post

Sharing the burden of producing sustainable biofuels

  • Rhett A. Butler and Lian Pin Koh

    California, Zurich

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 12 2010   /  12:20 pm

Palm oil is one of the world's most traded and versatile agricultural commodities. It can be used as edible vegetable oil, industrial lubricant, raw material in cosmetic and skincare products and feedstock for biofuel production. Growing global demand for palm oil and the ensuing cropland expansion has been blamed for a wide range of environmental ills, including tropical deforestation, peatland degradation, biodiversity loss and CO2 emissions. In response to these concerns, a group of stakeholders - including activists, investors, producers and retailers - formed the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO; www.rspo.org) to develop a certification scheme for palm oil produced through environmentally- and socially-responsible ways. It is widely anticipated that the creation of a premium market for RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) would encourage palm oil produc...