Oil palm estates in IndonesiaPalm oil is one of Indonesia’s largest agricultural export commodities, and large swathes of land are cleared each year for palm oil plantations. Indonesian palm oil estates fall under three categories: large private plantations, smallholders, and state-owned. Most of the oil palm plantations were located in three areas: Riau, Kalimantan, and Sumatera. Unsurprisingly, these provinces account for most of the production of palm oil as well.
Effects of palm oil productionIn recent years, the production of palm oil had come under increased global scrutiny and criticism, due to its detrimental effects on the environment. In Indonesia, many plantations practice slash-and-burn agriculture to quickly clear the land for new plantings. This has resulted in annual air pollution problems that spread to neighboring Singapore and Malaysia. Furthermore, Indonesia has lost much of its rainforest cover to oil palm monoculture, especially in Kalimantan and Sumatera.
Some measures already exist to ensure sustainable and environmentally friendly production practices. In 2008, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) introduced certain criteria that producers must comply with to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). However, as of 2021, Indonesia had produced just around 11 million metric tons of certified sustainable palm oil.