Last September the European Commission admitted that it needs to revise its policy regarding biofuels since their use may involve certain risks. Plant based biofuels seem to have an impact on food prices at a global level and on land rights in developing countries. As a consequence, since Europe is Indonesia's biggest export market with 39% of total European biodiesel import in 2011 coming from Indonesia, the need to take further actions is immediate.
The Programme Director of Sawit Watch, Rahmawati Retno Winarni, will launch a discussion concerning the effects of EU biofuels policy on indigenous people of Indonesia, during the 2012 European Development Days (EDDs) held in Brussels 16 – 17 October.
”Palm oil is far from a sustainable solution for indigenous people in Indonesia. They lose their land and forest resources, drink polluted water, are treated unequally for their work on the plantations and if they protest they face violence. As Indonesian biofuels also fuel Europe’s thirst for energy I believe EU policy makers should be aware of how the palm oil boom harms people and their environment,” Winarni stated,
Rahmawati Retno Winarni, who struggles for more sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia, will have a leading role in this debate where other experts from EU institutions, NGOs, and business will also have the chance to express their views as far as the biofuels policy of Europe is concerned.