EU and Indonesia cooperate to implement the EU Deforestation Regulation

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0 Author: Hayden
Deforestation in Riau province, Sumatra, to make way for an oil palm plantation in 2007.

Amidst the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change, and pollution, the collaboration between Indonesia and the European Union takes on a significant role. Both entities are united in their commitment to promoting sustainable pathways for development and prosperity that safeguard our environment. 

At the World Water Forum hosted by Indonesia, Ibu Musdhalifah Machmud, co-chair of the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) Joint Task Force and Senior Advisor for Connectivity, Service Sector, and Natural Resources at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs for the Republic of Indonesia, and Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General for the Environment at the European Commission, convened in Bali on 21 May 2024. 

The productive cooperation between both parties was acknowledged, emphasising the goal of transitioning to deforestation-free supply chains through the Joint Task Force. The EU and Indonesia reiterated their commitment to maintaining uninterrupted trade flows and enhancing deforestation-free supply chains, underscoring their dedication to environmental protection. The state of preparation for the implementation of the Regulation was also discussed.

Regarding the IT system, the EU confirmed that it would ensure data privacy and interoperability. 

The EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) plays a crucial role in the global effort to combat deforestation and forest degradation by addressing legal and illegal deforestation. It aligns with the international community’s commitment to ending deforestation (as outlined in the SDGs, Glasgow Declaration, etc.). The Regulation covers seven commodities (rubber, wood, cattle, palm oil, soya, coffee, and cocoa) produced within or outside the EU. It imposes due diligence and strict traceability obligations on companies that wish to place these commodities or related products on the EU market, requiring them to clean their supply chains of products associated with deforestation and forest degradation.

EU and Indonesia’s joint efforts

It is crucial to take action against deforestation and forest degradation to address climate change and biodiversity loss. These activities are responsible for about 11% of human-made greenhouse gas emissions and are among the leading causes of biodiversity loss. Cooperative engagement and partnership are essential to tackle these global challenges.

As the leading global producer of palm oil and a significant producer of timber, rubber, coffee, and cocoa, Indonesia has a longstanding commitment to forest protection. The ongoing collaboration between the EU and Indonesia is focused on enhancing transparency in palm oil supply chains and other commodities. Initiatives such as the KAMI project, the SAFE project, the EUDR Engagement project, and the Joint Task Force on the EUDR are actively supporting Indonesia’s efforts, demonstrating the tangible results of the partnership.

The EU has commended Indonesia’s efforts to enhance traceability and transparency of supply chains of sustainable commodities with the National Dashboard Initiative. Both parties will continue to work closely on its implementation and further developments towards traceability via geolocation. The EU welcomed Indonesia’s efforts to include smallholders in the value chain, and both parties agreed to involve them further in the following steps.

Indonesia and the EU have agreed on technical discussions between the Indonesian authorities and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. This platform is designed to foster a collaborative environment, where stakeholders can share feedback on relevant forest maps in alignment with the Regulation. 

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