What do you understand by Roundtable sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Green Palm. Discuss in light of environmental issues created by constant increase in production and demand of Oil Palm.

Published: October 27, 2015

Model Answer: The rise in global demand of palm oil has led to higher production and higher global acreage under its production at the costs of forests. Deforestation, loss of biodiversity, loss of ecosystem services, misuse of pesticides are some of the key issues created by increase in production and demand of oil palm. The seriousness of the problem can be gauged with the fact that in Indonesia and Malaysia, almost one third forest was wiped out in last one decade to make way for oil palm cultivation. The problem is made sever by burning of forests and draining of the peat swamps.
RSPO, established in 2004, is a multi-stakeholder platform with major palm oil players on board. It works towards promotion of production of sustainable palm oil. It has developed a set of standards called “RSPO Principles and Criteria”. These principles makes sure that valuable tropical forests are not cleared for production of oil palm and environmental / social safeguards are taken into account in production. There is a system of regular assessments of plantations and RSO has also come up with a certification system called “Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)”. In summary, RSPO Since it will be not possible for a consumer to know exactly from where the oil has come from and how it was produced; the RSOP has come up with a trading programme called Green Palm (Book and Claim) to give consumers flexibility to purchase sustainable palm oil certificates. One Green Palm certificate is awarded on sustainable production of one tonne of palm oil. These certificates can be put on sale on the Green Palm web based trading platform. (270 words)

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