On May 23, CPI team presented the preliminary findings of a series of studies for the Low Emission Palm Oil Development (LEOPALD) Project in Tanjungredeb, Berau, East Kalimantan. The event was hosted by the Regent of Berau, together with project partners CPI, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and supported by The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU); and the David & Packard Lucille Foundation. The seminar was opened and attended by Mr. Muharram, Regent of Berau District, as well as representatives from the crop estate offices of East Kalimantan and Berau, the the research and development agency of Berau, the regional income office, the heads of subdistricts and heads of villages.

There were three topics presented in this seminar:

  1. ‘From Extraction to Cultivation: Berau’s Transition to a Sustainable Economy’, an upcoming CPI study focusing on how fiscal policy is impacted by a palm oil dominated economy.
  2. ‘The Opportunities and Challenges of Village Fund Utilization to support Sustainable Economy and Agriculture in East Kalimantan’ , a presentation of CPI’s recently published Village Fund Study.
  3. ‘Towards a More Efficient and Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain: A Case of Berau’, an upcoming study which maps the palm oil supply chain in Berau and analyses its efficiency and potential to fuel demand for land expansion.

The Regent of Berau found the report findings interesting and relevant to Berau’s current situation. The seminar’s participants actively engaged in the discussion, provided insights and suggestions to improve the draft of the study reports.

The key takeaways from the discussions are:

  1. The government recognized the need for economic diversification to reduce reliance on single commodities such as palm oil. Berau is currently looking to cultivate alternative commodities such as cacao and pepper, as well as developing alternative livelihoods g utilizing oil palm waste for feedstock.
  2. The government agreed that there is a need to improve integration of independent smallholder farmers in the supply chain. In addition to this, it is also crucial to evaluate plasma plantation schemes in Berau – particularly to understand whether it has brought the expected benefits to smallholders or not.

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