General Election Commission has decided that on 17 February 2019 would be the second debate for the president candidates of Indonesia in 2019 -2024. As it is known, the issues to be discussed are energy, food, infrastructure, natural resources, and environment. The four issues are related.
For Sawit Watch, the four issues have something to do with palm oil plantation. As it is known too, palm oil is the biggest exchange provider for the country out of oil and gas sectors. It is worth if in the second debate, palm oil is a serious thing to be discussed for the candidates.
Executive Director of Sawit Watch, Inda Fatinaware said that palm oil plantations are important parts to be discussed in the second debate. “Besides having big contribution to the exchange, palm oil still has complicated issues, such as, the smallholders, the labors in the plantations, social conflicts, environmental damages, and others,” she said in the official statement to InfoSAWIT.
Many sides admitted that palm oil is one important sector to develop the economy. There are many jobs in the plantation, the smallholders contribute 50% of the total crude palm oil (CPO) production in Indonesia. These are the signs that the sector contributes to many people in Indonesia. So she continued that the two president candidates would discuss their ideas to this sector.
Apart of its contribution to the nation, it is undeniable that the issues in the sector are balanced with the income for the country. For example, the functional of protected forests to be palm oil plantations, the land seizure from the indigenous people, the conflict between the indigenous people and the companies, the labors in the plantations who have no life guarantee who are arbitrarily hired are the issues.
Head of Desk Campaign, Sawit Watch, Maryo Saputra also said, the damage from palm oil plantation for the environment and the people is not minor issue. The conflict between the people and the company or the government which made victims still takes place until now because of land issue. The labors who were fired without getting payment are the stories that are always told but never have solutions.
“Yet the forest or protected regions which are substituted to be palm oil plantations. These are the general secrets that the many media always discuss and the attention of the world,” he said.