Indonesia and Malaysia to Address European Union Deforestation Regulation: Implications and Target
|"The Use of Electric Vehicles in the Oil Palm Plantation Areas Owned by Tunas Sawa Erma Group (TSE Group) in Papua (Photo: TSE Group)"|
Indonesia and Malaysia are set to meet with European Union (EU) leaders in Brussels, Belgium to discuss the EU's deforestation regulation, known as the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). Both countries believe that this regulation will have a negative impact on tropical agricultural commodities involving small-scale farmers. According to the statement released by the Malaysian Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities on Saturday, May 17, 2023, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia, Fadillah Yusof, along with the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, will embark on this mission starting today, Sunday, May 28, 2023, until Sunday, June 4, 2023.
Background of the EU Deforestation Regulation
This initiative comes after the EU announced the implementation of the EUDR on December 6, 2022, with the aim of preventing deforestation caused by agricultural activities worldwide. As reported by Bernama, Malaysia and Indonesia view the EU's actions as non-tariff barriers that could have a negative impact on free and fair trade. This is especially concerning as the regulation appears to predominantly target tropical agricultural products from developing countries, involving millions of small-scale farmers and potentially affecting the global supply chain. The ministers' plan is to clarify the position of oil palm-producing countries within the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) regarding the implementation of the EUDR, as it is deemed to suppress the agricultural sector, particularly the palm oil industry, and impact the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers.
Malaysia's Commitment to Counter Negative Campaigns
As a member of CPOPC, Malaysia has expressed its commitment to actively engage in global platforms to combat negative Western campaigns against palm oil. The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia states that their involvement sessions with the EU will intensify efforts to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for both palm oil-producing and consuming countries. Previously, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, met with the EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, Vincent Piket, in Jakarta on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
Joint Mission to Brussels
During the meeting, officials from both countries discussed the EUDR policy and the upcoming joint mission by Airlangga and Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah to Brussels. Airlangga stated that the mission would also explore measures to ensure that the EUDR provisions do not burden or have a negative impact on palm oil farmers and other commodity sectors.
The meeting between Indonesia, Malaysia, and the EU in Brussels holds significant importance for the future of tropical agricultural commodities, particularly palm oil, and the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers. The discussions aim to find a balanced approach that considers the concerns of all stakeholders involved. The outcome of these deliberations will have far-reaching implications for international trade and sustainable agricultural practices. Both Indonesia and Malaysia are determined to actively participate and assert their positions to safeguard their agricultural sectors and the well-being of their farmers.