The covid-19 pandemic has disrupted almost all economic activities in business industries. The restriction on human mobility and social contact has affected many production activities, resulting in supply and demand shock. This is a challenge for the industrial sectors, including palm oil plantation. Then, how is the palm oil plantation going during the pandemic?
According to Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (GAPKI) data, there has been a decrease in the statistics of the Indonesian Palm Oil Industry 2020 compared to 2019. Accumulatively, total palm oil production in Jan – May 2020 reduced by 2,936 million tons from the previous year. While total exports and totl domestic consumption from Jan – May 2020 fell by 1,587 million tons and 22 thousand tons, respectively. The decline was largely due to social and mobility restrictions to prevent the spread of covid-19 virus, especially the exports to recipient countries such as China, Africa, India, Europe and Pakistan.
However, APE Crusader team found that land clearing for palm oil plantation extention keep happening. In early 2020, the team found two (2) individual orangutans in a forested area near a palm oil plantation in Seruyan, Central Kalimantan and found out that by June 2020 the area had been cleared. In addition, APE Crusader team also discovered a massive forest clearing for palm oil plantation in West Kutai, East Kalimantan from the beginning of 2020 and still going until now.
Although, covid-19 pandemic has affected production and export activities of palm oil, land clearing activities for plantation keep on happening. “Pandemics do affect many aspects of life, but we must not let our guard down. Do not let our forests and orangutans gone as the pandemic gone.” said Sari Fitriani, manager of COP Orangutan Habitat Protection Program. (SAR)