JOINT PRESS RELEASE: THE KICK-OFF MEETING OF THE AD HOC JOINT TASK FORCE BETWEEN INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
- Created Date: 05 August 2023
Following the Joint Mission carried out by Indonesia and Malaysia to Brussels on 30 – 31 May 2023 and the follow-up visit of the European Commission to Indonesia and Malaysia on 26 – 28 June 2023, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the European Union agreed to establish an Ad Hoc Joint Task Force (JTF) on European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). The Kick-off Meeting of the Ad Hoc JTF was conducted on 4 August 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Musdhalifah Machmud, Deputy Minister for Food and Agribusiness, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs (CMEA), the Republic of Indonesia, YBhg. Dato’ Mad Zaidi bin Mohd Karli, Secretary General Ministry of Plantation and Commodities (MPC) of Malaysia, and Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Director for Green Diplomacy and Multilateralism, European Commission (EC). The meeting was facilitated by the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) and attended by the representatives and stakeholders of relevant commodities subject to the EUDR.
The Co-Chairs underscored their agreement to seek common interests between producing and consuming countries and therefore, the Ad Hoc JTF is a platform to serve as a consultative mechanism to support coordination and promotion of mutual understanding between Indonesia, Malaysia, and the European Union. The Ad Hoc JTF aims to address concerns raised by Indonesia and Malaysia pertaining to the implementation of the EUDR and to, identify practical solutions and approaches relevant for the Implementation of the EUDR. The Ad Hoc JTF will establish a dialogue and relevant workstreams, where deemed useful, led by respective governments to build mutual understanding on the implementation of the regulation and its core aspects, including benchmarking.
Musdhalifah Machmud affirmed that the meeting was held to reach common understanding and Dato’ Mad Zaidi bin Mohd Karli stressed that cooperation is the way forward and solutions can be inspired by best practices across sectors. Astrid Schomaker expressed her acknowledgement on the progress made by Indonesia and Malaysia on reducing deforestation and welcomed sharing information and further clarification of the regulation.
The meeting agreed to the Terms of Reference for the work of the Ad Hoc JTF that include work on issues such as the inclusivity of smallholders in the supply chain, relevant national certification schemes (land legality and cut-off date for deforestation), traceability from producer to end-consumer, scientific data on deforestation and forest degradation, and protection of data. The Ad Hoc JTF will conclude its work by the end of 2024, with the possibility to be extended upon mutual agreement.
The meeting also shared information on implementation of Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) as well as the available traceability tools.
The next meeting is tentatively scheduled to take place at the end of November 2023 and the host country will be announced later.
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