JAKARTA, INDONESIA | 13 April 2018 – An ingredient found in roughly half of all items on supermarket shelves, not to mention biofuels, global demand for palm oil is set to continue its rise, fuelled by markets like India and China. However, changing regulation, special interest groups and health concerns are just some of many headwinds challenging the future of the palm oil industry. Moreover, demand for sustainable palm oil does not necessarily keep pace with growing global demand – making it the collective responsibility of the industry to foster the responsible production of sustainable palm oil and entrench that as the industry standard.
The International Conference on Oil Palm and the Environment (ICOPE) is aimed at fostering discussion to improve the production of sustainable palm oil through science and technology, while setting benchmarks to raise the floor of the industry as a whole. The 2018 edition offers delegates a platform to share knowledge and best practices, facilitating an important discourse between the public and private sectors.
Chairman of ICOPE 2018, Dr. J.P.Caliman said, “Topics such as contribution of technologies such as precisions agriculture to reach a higher level of sustainability with respect to production and conservation, new improvement from carbon and water footprints, integration of oil palm cultivation in ecosystems, and also discussion about finding a global consensus on sustainability standards will be discussed on our sixth ICOPE this year.”
ICOPE 2018 is organised by three organisations with cross-sectoral expertise: WWF Indonesia, CIRAD and Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food. Following its past successes (from 2007 to 2016), the conference is expected to gather more than hundreds international participants from the palm oil industry – growers, millers and traders, research organisations and universities, NGOs, industry bodies and government agencies.
Director of Policy, Sustainability and Transformation for WWF Indonesia, Aditya Bayunanda, stated, “Issues on palm oil are often controversial and its current progress has cornered the sector as a contributor of carbon emissions, deforestation and forest fire. Together with our partners, WWF presents ICOPE as the platform for scientific discussion, in order to find innovation in technology and policy that can address the challenges of sustainability and deforestation.”
WWF Indonesia’s ultimate goal is to stop and eventually reverse environmental degradation and to build a future where people live in harmony with nature. And we believe through ICOPE, industry stakeholders can together foster alignment of the world’s environmental and sustainability agenda with industry practice.”
ICOPE 2018 will offer networking and collaboration opportunities with key stakeholders to uncover solutions for local production that will engender a more resilient, sustainable palm oil industry. It is an opportunity to have a deep-dive dialogue on necessary innovations and new scientific approaches to sustainable oil palm agriculture practices for farmers, palm oil growers and producers.
Regional Director of CIRAD, Dr. Alain Rival stated, “There has been a significant effort made over the last ten years to transform the palm oil industry into a more sustainable sector. There are still knowledge gaps in several areas. ICOPE offers science-based solutions to improve sustainability in the whole commodity chain. ”
Speakers from this year conference comes from different parts of the world, such as USA, Switzerland, Nigeria, Malaysia, France, Finland, Australia, UK, Denmark, Colombia, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Some of the key speakers will include Pascale Bonzom of UNDP Panama, Lenaic Pardon of France, Dato Makhdzir Mardan of CPOC Malaysia, Jamesy Fry of LMC International, Michael Bucki as the EU Delegate to Indonesia, Andreas Feige of ISCC and Tiur Rumondang of RSPO Indonesia.
President Director PT SMART Tbk, Daud Dharsono added, “ICOPE gathers key decisions makers from government and companies and important stakeholders such as NGOs and academia in one forum with hope that we can learn, share, synergise and implement ways to achieve our common vision of sustainable palm oil industry.”
ABOUT ICOPE 2018
International Conference on Oil Palm and Environment (ICOPE) 2018 is a bi-annual international conference dedicated as a scientific platform for the development of sustainable palm oil to meet the environmental challenges. ICOPE is carried out by the collaboration between Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia, and CIRAD France. The upcoming ICOPE is scheduled to take place in The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua – Bali from April 25-27. For more information visit our website: www.icope-series.com and get the latest update by following our twitter @icope-series
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