BALI – 25 April 2018 | More than 400 participants from more than 30 countries have converged on Bali to discuss how science and technology can help drive sustainability in the palm oil sector at the International Conference on Oil Palm and the Environment (ICOPE) 2018. Opened by the Coordinating Minister for Economy of Republic Indonesia, Darmin Nasution, the conference brings together academics, scientists, government officials, financial bodies, palm oil sector businesses and non-governmental organisations with a combined purpose – to minimise the environmental impact of palm oil production whilst maximising its value to society.
Chairman of ICOPE 2018, Dr. J.P. Caliman, explained that ICOPE has earned global recognition in the scientific community as a useful and unbiased resource on palm oil production and sustainability. ICOPE is the only international conference dedicated to oil palm and the environment, attracting such a large number and variety of participants.
“ICOPE was initiated 11 years ago by three partners, with shared values around achieving sustainability in the oil palm industry through close collaboration, and trust in science,” he said.
These three partners, WWF-Indonesia, CIRAD-France, and Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, were, and still are leaders in their respective fields – identifying environmental issues and advocating solutions for WWF, validating the scientific relevance and robustness of solutions for CIRAD, and testing the operational feasibility of these solutions for Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food.
“ICOPE benefits from the continuous support of the Government of Indonesia, and I believe this is a key contributing factor to the success of ICOPE. This year, we also welcome the Government of France, who is joining us through its Embassies in Jakarta and Singapore, and we hope to get additional governments on board in the coming years,” he explained.
ICOPE is also supported by several initiatives such as the RSPO and ISPO, who are also working towards sustainability of the oil palm industry.
The theme of this 2018 conference is, “Embracing Sustainable Palm Oil: Solutions for Local Production and Global Change” and aims to find solutions that contribute to global change from the current trends and negative risks, while improving the farmers’ livelihoods.
Franky O. Widjaja, Chairman and CEO, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, added that ICOPE 2018 also has the objective to discuss the future of the palm oil industry. The global community increasingly questions the sector about its ability to halt deforestation, deliver positive livelihoods and contribute to feeding a growing world population in a sustainable manner.
“With the ICOPE 2018, I believe we can together show the world what we are already doing and what a sustainable future for palm oil can be. In order to achieve success, we must come together – as academics, industry players, governments, customers, consumers, community members, NGOs and scientists – and align a shared understanding of what we want to achieve and how we measure success,” he said.
According to Franky O. Widjaja, sustainability can only be achieved when there is a balance between economic opportunities, environmental protection, and social welfare. This issue is key to the sustainable palm oil sector and is a key component of the ICOPE 2018 theme focused on solutions for local production.
Speakers from this year’s conference also come 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, Lénaïc Pardon of France, Dato Makhdzir Mardan of CPOPC Malaysia, James Fry of LMC International, Michael Bucki as the EU Delegate to Indonesia, Andreas Feige of ISCC, and Tiur Rumondang of RSPO Indonesia.
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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