KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The conservation of biodiversity, both within and outside of certified concessions, is a key outcome that the RSPO aims to achieve through its Principles and Criteria 2018.
With the aim of better understanding progress towards this outcome, the RSPO commissioned a study by Borneo Futures, a scientific consultancy, in late 2019. The study evaluates whether the RSPO certification processes can or have contributed to the protection of species and landscapes, and identifies opportunities for improvement.
The study acknowledged clear conservation benefits originating from well-established biodiversity management of plantations but could not conclusively attribute these to the RSPO certification. The authors pointed to the complexity of the RSPO biodiversity requirements for assessing, managing and monitoring High Conservation Value areas – which may necessitate costly, external technical expertise – as a potential explanatory factor.
Dr Erik Meijaard, one of the researchers and Director of Borneo Futures, stated that “while species diversity and abundance in oil palm monoculture are lower than protected natural forests, the five companies surveyed retained important biodiversity. This suggests that well managed RSPO-certified oil palm plantations can play a role in biodiversity conservation by supporting and retaining sometimes significant levels of biodiversity.”
The RSPO recognises these issues and is working with our stakeholders to determine the systems and best practices for effective biodiversity management on oil palm plantations.
About Borneo Futures:
Borneo Futures is a scientific consultancy company and based in Brunei Darussalam. Established in 2015, Borneo Futures undertakes projects focused on innovative science that informs the practices and policies of environmental management in tropical forest areas. The work by the Borneo Futures company builds on the studies conducted through the Borneo Futures initiative, by implementing pilot programs for key stakeholders in natural resources companies, banks, government institutions, and rural communities.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. RSPO is a not-for-profit, international, membership organisation that unites stakeholders from the different sectors of the palm oil industry including oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs, and social or developmental NGOs.
The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with satellite offices in Jakarta (ID), London (UK), Zoetermeer (NL), Beijing (CN) and Bogotá (CO).
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