Improving the Level of Sustainability within Palm Oil and Soybean Plantations. Evaluation of the potential of roundtables to reduce deforestation and conserve biodiversity.
Wezel, M.K. van
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The roundtables have stated several P&C’s which should result in a higher level of sustainability within the oil palm and soybean concessions. However, the general conclusion can be made that these P&C’s are not detailed enough to become effective. Lack of details have the result that companies are free to implement the P&C according to their own interpretation. Result is that same certified growers might act on a different level of sustainability. Deforestation of primary forest is not specifically reduced with the implementation of the P&C. This is mainly because the HCV assessment is not implemented on a proper manner and HCV habitats are not protected by the growers or the government. Result is that the potential of the roundtables to protect forest against deforestation is low. Furthermore, the roundtables do not prohibit the conversion of secondary or degraded forest in order to protect biodiversity within and beyond the plantations. The different roundtables stated several management practices which might be implemented. Research showed that if appropriately implemented and managed, these activities might contribute to the conservation of animal and plant species. However, a proper HCV assessment is essential before these management activities are implemented within the concessions. Failure in the protection of HCVs will result in the destructing of these habitats. In the future the roundtables should improve their P&C and implement the conservation of High Carbon Stock areas. This will result in the protection of even secondary forest. If this assessment is properly implemented, this will increase the sustainability standard of the roundtables.