Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU), the GCF Coordinator in Indonesia, the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Kalimantan province and three districts (Gunung Mas, Kotawaringin Barat and Seruyan), recently solidified an ongoing partnership to accelerate the development of sustainable oil palm in Indonesia. The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding and launched SIPKEBUN, an online system built by INOBU to integrate information on palm oil growers—from industrial scale plantations to independent smallholder farmers. For the first time, the Indonesian government will be able to electronically monitor all oil palm growers: where they are growing it and how they are growing it, a crucial component towards achieving sustainable palm oil in Indonesia.
The partnership signifies the importance of research and innovation in the Indonesian government’s effort to achieve sustainable oil palm through the jurisdictional approach. Emphasizing the important role of online monitoring processes, Ir. Bambang MM, the Director General of Plantations (Ministry of Agriculture) described SIPKEBUN as a big step towards Indonesia’s e-government goal. It replaces the current systems for collecting land-use data, integrating multiple types of land management data in a single online platform.
SIPKEBUN demonstrates the power of collaboration between national and subnational governments, as well as collaboration across districts. At the recent launch, the Regents of Seruyan, Kotawaringin Barat and Gunung Mas Districts noted that SIPKEBUN will not only monitor plantations but also be an opportunity for collaboration between the Central and Regional governments. It will systematically address the problems that regional governments have long battled with in isolation, such as forest and peat fires, conflict over land uses in forest areas and empowering smallholder farmers.
Supporting Smallholders towards Sustainable Palm Oil
The MOU recognizes the significance of smallholders in the palm oil industry and commits to supporting and empowering them. SIPKEBUN fills the information gap on smallholders: identifying the legality, productivity and profitability of each farmer. The data stored within SIPKEBUN enables local governments to streamline the process for issuing cultivation registration letters or STDB to smallholders. This data is also a stepping stone towards issuing land certificates to smallholders. SIPKEBUN enables local governments to understand how smallholders are farming, equipping decision-makers to more effectively target interventions for improving the productivity and profitability of smallholder oil palm plantations.
SIPKEBUN—which stands for Sistem Informasi dan Pemantauan Kinerja Perkebunan Berkelanjutan or “Information and Performance Monitoring System for Sustainable Plantations,”—is the product of close collaboration between INOBU and local governments in Central Kalimantan. As a first step, SIPKEBUN will store and display independent oil palm smallholder data for the three Central Kalimantan districts, including the location and area of plantations, level of production and socio-economic conditions. Currently there are data for 2,441 independent smallholders in Seruyan District stored in SIPKEBUN, and the target for 2016 is that all independent smallholders in the district, or about 5,300 farmers, will be mapped. Kotawaringin Barat and Gunung Mas Districts have also begun mapping independent smallholders and oil palm plantations.
SIPKEBUN’s potential application across Indonesia as a platform for jurisdictions to become sustainable is unprecedented. With SIPKEBUN, plantation data for hundreds of commercial plantations across millions of hectares will now be housed in a single provincial system. SIPKEBUN has the capability to be adapted to additional plantation commodities, which is important for the Ministry of Agriculture and their work in promoting sustainable agricultural commodities.
The national launch of SIPKEBUN follows the successful implementation of the system in Central Kalimantan. INOBU recently rolled out a series of training sessions in the three Central Kalimantan districts, training 45 government staff to begin the process of inputting plantation data into SIPKEBUN. The response was overwhelmingly positive—the workers on the frontlines of tracking data on palm oil plantations now have a tool at their fingertips that makes it possible to track, monitor, report and analyze data across entire jurisdictions. INOBU envisions an Indonesia where unique collaborative efforts like SIPKEBUN are replicated across the country to support the transition towards sustainable commodity production and better livelihoods.
Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU) is an Indonesian research institute that works towards the vision of an Indonesia where land and seascapes are managed sustainably and benefit the communities that depend on them. Through innovative research, policy analysis, technology and alliance-building, INOBU seeks to improve public policies and strengthen civil society to sustainably manage Indonesia’s natural resources and agricultural production systems, throughout the life-cycle of products.