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Palm Oil And Peat Training Module

Palm Oil And Peat Training Module



This is a powerpoint publication, consisting of 73 powerpoint slides about the impact and guidelines for palm oil production on peatlands. From the Central Kalimantan Peatlands Project (CKPP): ...

This is a powerpoint publication, consisting of 73 powerpoint slides about the impact and guidelines for palm oil production on peatlands. From the Central Kalimantan Peatlands Project (CKPP): www.ckpp.org



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  • This picture shows the location of a peat dome in the flood plain in between two lowland rivers. A substantial part of the peat dome is located above river water surface. These forms of peatlands are called bogs, they are oligotrophic (poor in nutrients) and rain water fed. The peat lies like a gigantic drop a water on the lowland plain, held together by the dead organic material and protected by a blanket of living forest that maintains a humid micro-climate and prevents direct solar impact.
  • Nepenthes grows in soils with N deficiencies. It compensates this by capturing insects in its cup-shaped leaves. Many indigenous peat swamp forest plants and trees can survive long-inundation. They can form floating islands, such as the Pandanus, or have aerial roots or pneumatophores, that help them to breath.
  • NTFP: non timber forest product
  • First click: Some relatively minor emissions are derived from peatlands in arctic and sub-arctic zones Second click: More substantial emissions are derived from peatlands in the temperate zones and tropical zones of the Americas Third click: The most substantial emissions, covering over 70% of global peat-based emissions are from SE Asia.
  • Most concentrated land-use related CO2 emissions in the world Greater
  • As tropical peat swamp forests are multi-functional areas, their degradation leads to multiple integrated impacts
  • The NASA satellite picture of October 1997 shows the enormous extent of the smog which was derived mainly from peat fires. The pictures from Malaysia shows that also in non El Nino years smog from Indonesian peat fires can cause significant impact across the Straits. This has caused political fall-out between Indonesia and its neighboring states, especially Malaysia, Singapore
  • Melling’s study is often used to claim that peat swamp forests would emit more CO2 than palm oil plantations. The study did, however, not measure the ecosystem carbon balance but only the soil emissions without distinguishing between CO2 emissions from peat oxidation and CO2 emissions from root respiration. It is logical that the latter will significantly impact on results. If peat swamp forest would indeed lead to a net higher CO2 emission, peat could never have been formed. The proof is in the peat.
  • Water management should be optimised to ensure the highest possible water levels are maintained. Whereas optimised water levels may have some impact on palm oil productivity, it will benefit long-term sustainability of the plantation, decreasing risks of enhanced flooding through peat soil subsidence. A optimal balance needs to be found between short-term productivity and long-term sustainability.
  • Ensure adequate fire prevention and fire control measures are taken, including established awareness and capacity in local communities, plantation staff and local authorities.
  • Joint management of conservation areas near or adjacent to palm oil plantations can create opportunity for biodiversity off sets through enhance biodiversity conservation linked to the management capacity provided by the palm oil plantation, in terms of hydrological management, fire control, patrol against illegal logging and poaching and development of infrastructure. This can be of mutual benefit through improved security, as well as derived carbon credits.

Palm Oil And Peat Training Module Palm Oil And Peat Training Module Presentation Transcript

  • Training module on Palm Oil and Peat Developed by Marcel Silvius
  • This training module on tropical peatlands and palm oil was developed by Wetlands International at the request of ProForest. Most material in this presentation is under copyright of Wetlands International
    • What are peatlands?
    • Location
    • Functions and values
  • What are peatlands? Peatlands are wetlands where waterlogging delays decay, and dead plant materials form an organic soil: peat soil
  • Mineral Soil River River < 1m > 3m Peat swamp forest Organic matter Most of the peatlands are located in the lowlands in the extensive floodplains between rivers of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua
    • Peat: organic matter accumulated over thousands of years
    • Lowland tropical forest peat bogs are dome-shaped
    • Peat is accumulated above ground water levels
    The peat bog is rain water fed
  • Peatlands represent a key part of global biodiversity As a result of different climatic and biogeographic conditions, a large diversity of peatland types exists in the world, including the tropical peat swamp forests of South-east Asia (middle picture)
  • Peatlands around the world
    • World wide 400 million ha
    • 3% of global land area; 40% of all wetlands
    • Present in all climate zones, in 126 countries
    • South-east Asia has 6 % of global peatlands
  • Peat accumulates for thousands of years storing concentrated Carbon in thick layers Peat from 2 meters depth Most peatlands in lowlands of South-east Asia are about 5000 years old. Some can reach over 20m depth
  • Peatlands are 90% water
    • In natural un-drained conditions tropical peatland soils contain 85% to 95% water and are poor in nutrients
    • Indigenous plant species are adjusted to long-term inundation and have special adaptations to cope with poor peat soil conditions
  • Place in the water cycle
    • Globally 10% of all fresh water is in peat
    • Peatlands are the source areas of many rivers
  • Water management functions
    • Important role in water storage and supply
    • Crucial for mitigation of droughts and floods
  • Peatlands and carbon
    • Globally peatlands store 2000 Giga ton (Gt) CO 2
    • Equivalent to 30% of terrestrial carbon
      • 75% of all carbon in the atmosphere
      • 90% of all carbon stored global plant biomass
      • twice the carbon stored in forests
    • All over the world the peat based Carbon stores are threatened
    • Annual global emissions from peatlands > 3 Gt CO 2
      • equivalent to 11% of global fossil fuel emissions
    Peatlands store large amounts of carbon Peatland degradation leads to CO 2 emissions which contribute to global warming
  • Peat soils
    • Peatland area in Indonesia:
      • 21 millions ha
      • average carbon storage 1,600 ton C/ha
      • or totally 33.7 Giga ton Carbon
      • Equivalent to 123.5 Gt CO2
    • Tropical peat forest soils may have over 1200 times more carbon stored than the natural forest above
  • Peat swamp forests are high biodiversity areas
  • Vegetation gradients
    • In the centre of the peat dome where the peat is deepest, waterlogging most prolonged and denutrification most extreme trees may be stunted and thin. This forest is generally more poor in species. It is called “ Pole or Padang forest ”.
    • Toward the edges of the dome, the peat is less deep and tree species diversity higher. Forest on shallow peats (<1 m) is called Mixed swamp forest . The forest is tall, tree crowns are wide, and some emergent trees may reach up to 50 and occasionally 60 meters height.
    • Sometimes there is a gradient of peat swamp forest via mixed and freshwater swamp forest (on alluvial soils) towards river-edge vegetation. Natural gradients from mangrove forests to freshwater swamp forest and peat swamp forest have become very rare.
  • Peatland distribution in Indonesia b 1 Between 1987 to 2000 over 3 million ha, or 18% of the total peat area in Indonesia disappeared as a result of conversion and fires 2,481,000 16,973,000 20,697,000 Total 1,882,000 8,753,000 8,910,000 Papua 1,000 42,000 48,000 Maluku - 34,000 44,000 Sulawesi 257,000 3,531,000 4,413,000 Kalimantan 341,000 4,613,000 7,282,000 Sumatera Protected (ha) Remaining (ha) 1 Original size (ha) Region
  • Importance of tropical peat swamp forests
    • Water regulation
    • Biological diversity
    • Carbon storage (sinks & sequestration),
    • Tourism & recreation
    • Sustainable forestry, incl. NTFPs
    • Peat products for local exploitation
      • e.g. Central Kalimantan:
      • Total value US$950 / ha / year
      • fish (70%),
      • Construction and fire wood( 23%),
      • rattan (1%),
      • wild animals (1%),
      • Other products, e.g.. Chewing gum and medicinal products (5%)
  • Peatland area, carbon storage & distribution in Indonesia
    • Sumatra: 7.2 mill ha
      • 22.3 Gt C in 1990 - 18.8 Gt in 2002
    • Kalimantan: 5.8 mill ha
      • - 11.3 Gt C
    • Papua: 8 mill ha
      • - 3.6 Gt C
    • Total: 21 mill ha
      • 33.7 Gt C
  • Peat formation in Central Kalimantan
    • Peat formation started 26000 yr BC
    • Initially sequestration 1.0 mm/yr
    • Some periods had hardly any accumulation
    • 3.5 m of peat accumulated in 2,500 years
    • Peat and carbon storage decreased at end of early Holocene
    • Accumulation over last 600 years is 2.22 mm/yr
    Data from J. Rieley
  • All in the balance The intense relationship between “plants”, “water”, and “peat” make peatlands vulnerable to a wide range of human interference. Water Plants Peat Peatland
    • Peatland issues
    • Deforestation
    • Drainage
    • Fires
  • Peat swamp forest deforestation
    • Peatland deforestation:
    • since 2000: 1.5%/yr which is double the rate for non-peatlands
    • currently 45% deforested
    • Peat forest conservation
    • < 5% of total peatland area
  • Logging and drainage
    • For logging (legal and illegal) of peat swamp forests often channels are dug to transport equipment and logs
    • This results in drainage of the peat soil, causing increased emissions of CO 2 from the below-the-ground carbon store
  • Logging and fire susceptibility
    • Pristine forests are much less susceptible to fire
    • Logging and drainage dramatically increase fire risk
    • Earlier burned areas have very high fire risk
  • Impact of drainage of tropical peatlands
    • Drainage to 1 meter = emission of 90 ton CO 2 /ha/yr
    • When drained, peatlands become increasingly vulnerable to fires
    Source: Wösten, Alterra
  • Background: why peatland drainage leads to CO2 emissions?
    • Intact peat:
    • water table near surface allows accumulation of organic matter (carbon sink)
    Δ L Clay / sand Peat dome Stream channel Stream channel
  • Background: why does peatland drainage lead to CO2 emissions?
    • Drainage lowers water table and dries the peat
  • Background: why does peatland drainage lead to CO2 emissions?
    • When the water table is lowered and the peat dries,
    • oxigen will react with the organic material and form Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions through:
      • decomposition (rotting)
      • fires
    CO 2 CO 2
  • Background: why does peatland drainage lead to CO2 emissions?
    • The peat soil will subside as a result of loss of water, compaction and loss of matter (through CO 2 emission).
    • The subsidence will only stop when the peat is ‘rewetted’.
    • Without rewetting the peat will disappear
  • Drainage SE Asian peat swamp areas A total of about 13 million ha of SE Asian peat swamps have been drained for agriculture and agro-forestry.
  • CO 2 emissions from SE Asian peat fires
    • Between 1997 and 2006 there were over 60,000 fires in peat swamp areas in 3 out of 10 years (1997, 1998, 2002)
    • Most affected were deforested and drained peatlands
    Adapted from data provided by Siegert and Page
    • Is loss of peat a problem?
  • Drainage SE Asian peat swamp areas
    • Peat oxidation in SE Asia caused by drainage contributes around 632 MtCO 2 /yr to global green house gas emissions
    • This is equivalent to the current global target under the Kyoto Protocol
  • Peat fires and climate change
    • Indonesian peat fires in 1997/1998 covered 1.5-2.2 million ha and emitted between 3000 Mt CO 2 and 9000 Mt CO 2 (Page et al., 2002)
    • Carbon emission equivalent to 15-40% annual global emission of fossil fuels
    • The 1997/98 fires had a direct impact on global atmospheric CO 2 levels
    Increase atmospheric CO 2
  • CO 2 emissions from SE Asian peat fires
    • Tentative average annual CO 2 emissions caused by peatland fires, assessed over a ten year period (between 1997 – 2006) is estimated between
      • a minimal average of 1400 Mt CO2/y
      • to
      • a maximum average 4300 Mt CO 2 /y
    • The total emissions from drainage and fires in SE Asian peatlands amounts to a minimum of 2000 Mt CO2 per annum , which is around 8% of total global emissions from fossil fuels
  • Hotspots of CO 2 emissions from drained peat
    • Annual global emissions from peatlands > 3 Giga ton CO2
      • Equivalent to 11.5% of global fossil fuel emissions
    With peat related emissions equivalent to 8% of global fossil fuel emissions, South-east Asia is the world’s main source area of peat emissions
  • South-east Asian peatland emissions
    • 6% of global
    • peat area
    • 71% of global peat emissions
    • 0.1% of global land area
    • 8% of global CO 2 emissions
    Indonesia Malaysia Russia N America SE Asia
    • Other issues related to peatland degradation, drainage and fires in South-east Asia
  • Threats
    • Conversion & degradation
    • Pollution
    • Invasive species
    • Overexploitation
    • Climate change
    Biodiversity loss Poverty Climate Change Land / Water Degradation
    • Peatlands are the most important ecosystems in the world for carbon storage
    • Tropical peatlands are most rapidly degrading and disappearing
  • Economics of 1997/98 peat fires in Indonesia
    • 1,5 – 2,2 million ha peat swamp forest burned
    • 1108 flights cancelled in Indonesia, Singapore & Malaysia
    • Economic damage by smoke: > 1.4 billion US$
    • Economic losses (tourism & timber) > 7 billion US$
    • Large fires occur every year
  • Socio-economic impact of peatland fires on people
    • Enhanced poverty: more over-exploitation
    • Social & ethnic tensions
    • Vicious cycle of environmental degradation & over-exploitation
    • Indonesian peatland fires of 1997/98:
    • 1,5 – 2,2 million ha peatswamp forest burned
    • Hundred thousands of hospitalisations and outpatient treatments
    • Millions of working & school days lost
    • Natural resource base, business and property loss (US$ 8.4 billion)
  • Social impacts
    • 30% of children under 5 have respiratory illnesses and stunted growth
    • Poverty in peatland regions in Indonesia is 2-4 times higher then elsewhere in Indonesia
  • Other consequences
    • Local people have no choice but to over-exploit remaining natural resources
    • Poverty has caused social and ethnic tensions
    • The vicious cycle of environmental degradation and over-exploitation affects the environmental, economic and food security of the poor
  • Smog and smoke over SE-Asia 22 Oktober 1997 International tensions © NASA TOMS Malaysia in September 2005
    • Development of tropical peat soils in South-east Asia
      • Peat and palm oil
  • Palm oil can grow and produce well on peat
    • Currently about 20% to 25% of oil palm estates in South-east Asia are on peatland:
      • Indonesia: about 25%
      • Malaysia: about 6%
    • There is a major drive to expand palm oil, also in response to the international biofuel market
      • Over 50% of new palm oil is planned on peat
      • 60% of newly planned production estimated to be for bio-fuel
  • Sustainability issue
    • Palm oil production on peat:
      • annual peat emissions range between 50 - > 100 t CO 2 /ha
      • Use as biofuel (at 3 to 6 tonnes palm oil production per ha/year) compensates only 9 to 18 t CO 2 /ha
      • Combustion of palm oil from peat as a biofuel may thus result in 3-10 times more CO 2 emissions than from use of fossil fuels
      • This still excludes other potentially additional emissions from
        • deforestation
        • fires
        • off-site drainage impacts
  • Criteria peat & and palm oil
    • Essent, the largest Green Energy supplier to the public in the Netherlands established in 2007 an independent commission to look into the issue.
    • Conclusions:
      • No palm oil from plantations on peat!
      • In case of deforestation (within current RSPO criteria), a net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions should be proven.
  • Palm oil versus peat swamp forest
    • Malaysian Palm Oil Council: “A direct comparison of peat forest and oil palm plantations found slightly higher emissions from peat forests” (Corley 2007).
    • Possible causes for higher emissions for forests in Melling’s study:
      • Only soil emissions were measured, not the ecosystem carbon balance
      • More vegetation biomass will have higher respiration rates and thus more CO 2 release from the living root system .
      • Among other potential contributing factors is the fact that the peat swamp forest studied was degraded
    Source: Global Oils & Fats Business Magazine, Vol 4. Issue 2. 2007
    • Management measures
    • that can help
    • to reduce impacts of
    • existing palm oil plantations on peatlands
  • Priority 1 Optimising water levels: improve water management Different kinds of dams can be used to manage water levels
  • Restore also hydrology in surrounding HCV forest areas
    • In the surroundings of the plantation or in conservation zones within the plantation, High Conservation Value forests may require management interventions, e.g.:
      • Blockage of small channels; hydrological monitoring and management
      • Guarding against illegal logging and poaching
      • Fire prevention and control
      • Reforestation
      • Buffer zone development
      • Community engagement and development
  • Utilisation of Blocked Canals Peatland Palm oil plantation River Channel Dam Fishpond Fishpond Ponds position vs blocking canals To broker acceptance of water management structures and channel blocking by local communities, blocked channel areas may be used as fishponds Village
  • Priority 2 Fire prevention & fighting
    • Ensure adequate fire prevention and fire control, also in surrounding areas, including:
      • awareness raising
      • capacity building
    • Focus on local communities, authorities and plantation staff
  • Priority 3 Socio-economic development
    • As part of the Company’s Social Responsibility programme, small scale local community economic and other development initiatives (e.g. health care, schooling, etc) can be supported through micro-credits or grants.
    • Sustainable palm oil development of communities can be supported
  • Priority 4 Re-greening degraded peatlands
    • Where plantations on peat are abandoned, or in adjacent degraded peatlands, reforestation programmes can be implemented
      • This may link to conservation buffer zones
      • Carbon credits (from carbon sequestration and avoided emissions from degraded peatlands)
      • It will reduced fire risks for the plantations
    • When reforesting peatlands:
      • Ensure hydrological restoration to (near) natural water patterns
      • Plant indigenous species, and/or fire resistant species
  • Priority 5 Nature Conservation
    • Consider the potential of palm oil plantations as buffer zones for high conservation value forest areas
    • Consider mutual benefits from:
      • Bio-diversity off sets
      • Hydrological management
      • Fire control
      • Development of infrastructure
      • Patrol against poaching and illegal logging
    • Legislation, policies, guidelines
  • Consider use of the Precautionary Principle Large scale developments in peatlands should happen only after thorough research, social and environmental impact assessment, cost-benefit analysis, and small scale pilot projects Some general or basic guidelines to consider
  • Some general or basic guidelines to consider
    • Consider use of the Ecosystem approach
    • Recognise:
        • Hydrological sensitivity
        • Ecological relationship with surrounding land
        • Place in catchment/river basin
        • Potential impact on up- and down-stream areas
  • Some key regulations
    • Indonesia Presidential decree No 32/1990; Land use planning regulation No 21/1992: Peatlands deeper than 3 meters are protected for their water storage functions
    • Indonesia Policy of Soil Department: Shallow peats (0.5-1m) and Medium deep peats (1-2 m) are potentially suitable for agriculture
    • Malaysian and Indonesian legislation regarding green belts
  • General RSPO principles
    • Principle 1: Commitment to transparency
    • Principle 2: Compliance with applicable laws and regulations
      • Ensure also to be well acquainted with the National Implementation and Interpretation of the RSPO Principles and Criteria
    • Principle 3: Commitment to long-term economic and financial viability
    • Principle 4: Use of appropriate best practices by growers and millers
    • Principle 5: Environmental responsibility and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity
    • Principle 6: Responsible consideration of employees and of individuals and communities affected by growers and mills
  • RSPO criteria most relevant to peat
    • Criterion 4.3:
    • Practices minimise and control erosion and degradation of soils
    • Especially consider that:
      • Drainage of peat soils will lead to the chemical erosion of peat through oxidation. This process can only be minimised and not controlled, unless through full hydrological restoration of the natural water levels and hydrology
      • Exposure of the peat soil to direct sunlight will increase desiccation and oxidation
      • Drainage of plantations may impact on up- and down-stream peatlands and other vulnerable soils such as acid sulphate soils.
      • Maintenance of the water table at the RSPO recommended 50-75 cm (mean 60 cm) will result in 50 tonnes of CO 2 emissions per ha per year within the plantation, but may result in even ,ore drainmage and CO2 emissions through off-site hydrological impacts
      • Verification of proper water level management will require appropriate use of divers for continued – year round - water level management in different zones of the plantation, the location of which will depend on the hydrology of the plantation, its surroundings and its place in the water catchment.
      • Water levels and subsidence rates should be continuously measured in permanent Research & Monitoring plots, and documented.
    In addition to all the other RSPO criteria pay – in relation to the special characteristics and issues in peatlands - special consideration to the following:
  • RSPO criteria most relevant to peat
    • Criterion 4.4:
    • Practices maintain the quality and availability of surface and ground water.
    • Especially consider that:
      • Depending on the place in the water catchment there is a risk that palm oil plantations on peat as a result of the inevitable soil subsidence may end up with increased water logging which may render the plantation not viable in the long-term
      • Water management planning should preferably include use of models that will help to predict long-term impact scenarios of soil and hydrology changes
      • Over-drainage of surrounding peatlands may also result in increased droughts, i.e. in situations where peat dome drainage will result in diminished water supply in the dry season. This will also decrease options to maintain ater levels at the recommended height.
      • Roads and other infrastructure in the plantation may impact on water levels, availability and quality. Mitigation of these risks will require the use of appropriate engineering structures (such as culverts)
  • RSPO criteria most relevant to peat
      • Criterion 4.2
      • Practices maintain soil fertility at, or where possible improve soil fertility to, a level that ensures optimal and sustained yield
    • Especially consider that:
      • Many peat soils are underlain by potential acid sulphate soils. After the peat layer has over time disappeared as a result of drainage, the PAS soil may become exposed, resulting in significant acidification of the plantation and its surroundings, and significant loss of productivity
      • Such PAS conditions need to be incorporated in maps (Soil maps are required under RSPO guidance under Criterion 4.3)
  • RSPO criteria most relevant to peat
      • Criterion 5.1
    • Aspects of plantation and mill management that have environmental impacts are identified, and plans to mitigate the negative impacts and promote the positive ones are made, implemented and monitored, to demonstrate continuous improvement.
    • Especially consider that:
      • In existing palm oil plantations on peat the most severe negative environmental impacts will likely be related to:
        • Deforestation, b. Drainage, c. Fire risks and d. the resulting high emissions of green house gases.
      • The emission of green house gases even under optimised water management condition will render the produced palm oil an inappropriate product for generating green energy on European market, as biofuels under European condition need to result in at least in a reduction of 10 % green house gas emission.
      • The Netherlands (Cramer criteria) requires an emission reduction for electricity generation of 50-70% and for transport fuels at least 30%.
      • Consider also options for collaboration between palm oil plantations and High Conservation Value Forest areas
  • RSPO criteria most relevant to peat
    • Criterion 5.2
    • The status of rare, threatened or endangered species and high conservation value habitats, if any, that exist in the plantation or that could be affected by plantation or mill management, shall be identified and their conservation taken into account in management plans and operations
    • Especially consider that:
      • The hydrological impact of drainage of the palm oil plantation can significantly affect high conservation value habitats up- and down-stream in the catchment as a result of the hydrological connections.
      • Impacts can be obvious and direct, e.g. where drainage of surrounding peatland systems are directly effected, or can be difficult to measure and may take time over long periods but leading eventually to the degradation of high conservation value areas. Some of these impacts can only be clearly identified on basis of complex hydrological models
  • RSPO criteria most relevant to peat
    • Criterion 5.5:
    • Use of fire for waste disposal and for preparing land for replanting is avoided except in specific situations, as identified in the ASEAN guidelines or other regional best practice.
    • Especially consider that:
      • Use of fire in palm oil plantations on peat soils will pose exceptional fire risks to the drained peatlands in the plantation and its surroundings
      • Use of fire in peatlands in terms of developing and managing the plantation will result in unacceptable levels of CO 2 emissions.
  • RSPO criteria most relevant to peat
    • Criterion 5.6
    • Plans to reduce pollution and emissions, including greenhouse gases, are developed, implemented and monitored
    • Especially consider that:
      • Any drainage of peat soils will inevitably lead to high emissions of green house gases, especially CO 2
      • Drainage depth in existing palm oil plantations should be minimised to reduce green house gas emissions. It should be understood that emissions from peat oxidation will in any case be 3 to 10 times higher than any possible offsets realised by use of palm oil as biofuel
      • The RSPO guidance calls for a monitoring system to be put in place for significant pollutants that goes beyond national compliance.
  • RSPO criteria most relevant to peat
    • Criterion 7.1
    • A comprehensive and participatory independent social and environmental impact assessment is undertaken prior to establishing new plantings or operations, or expanding existing ones, and the results incorporated into planning, management and operations.
    • Especially consider that:
      • New plantations on peat should be avoided (see RSPO guidance under Criterion 7.4)
      • RSPO guidance under 7.1. mentions that assessment of above and below ground carbon storage is important but beyond the scope of an EIA. However, identification of presence, extent and depth of peat soils in the plantations and its immediate surroundings can be part of a rapid assessment, which will provide a useful and rapid indication of the carbon storage value and possible off-site impact scenarios.
      • This can also have significant implications for long-term soil suitability (Criterion 7.2)
      • It is recommended to use the precautionary principle when developing plantations on peat.
  • Other international criteria
    • In addition to RSPO criteria the European Union is considering additional criteria, especially in relation to the use of palm oil as a biofuel.
    • Use of biofuels in the EU is often subject to subsidies to enable the EU to comply with its targets under the Kyoto protocol.
    • The EU has adopted special criteria under the Renewable Energy Directive that ensure that biomass used for generation of electricty will result in significantly decreased emissions of green house gases, taking account of emissions produced in any stage of the full production chain. Biomass from wetlands is explicitly excluded because of the carbon stocks.
    • The Netherlands, the largest importer of palm oil in Europe, the so-called Cramer criteria have been adopted, which exclude biofuels produced on peat