History of the Aceh Landscape
The unique history and demographics of Aceh guides the engagement approaches that Musim Mas and other stakeholders adopt, given Aceh’s recent peace agreement with the Indonesian government in 2005, and a tsunami disaster in 2004.
Why is Aceh so important to us?
Aceh is home to five million Indonesians from over ten ethnic groups. 87% of the Leuser Ecosystem, one of the world’s most biologically diverse and threatened tropical forest landscapes, lies within the Aceh Province.
Its unique history, biodiversity, proximity to protected areas, and ongoing deforestation alerts attest to Aceh’s status as a high-risk landscape. So, while we do not have any operational presence in Aceh, and the province only constitutes 5 – 10% of our total supply base, we collaborate closely with stakeholders in Aceh to support change on the ground.
In 2020, we launched a five-year strategy and roadmap for the Aceh Landscape, which details the objectives and targets for implementing the No Deforestation, No Peat, and No Exploitation (NDPE) Policy.
The Aceh Landscape Strategy comprises three objectives with measurable targets to indicate progress.
Objective A – Engagement, which entails outreach to supplying mills and their FFB suppliers to convey NDPE requirements and the possible consequences of non-compliance.
Objective B – Assurance, which has components to ensure that the mills supplying crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernels (PK) to Musim Mas are NDPE compliant.
Objective C – Monitoring and Response, which contains proactive elements to detect, verify, and respond to deforestation at the landscape or jurisdictional level.
What is being done in Aceh?
We have established landscape initiatives in Aceh to address the imminent risks of encroachment into the Leuser Ecosystem. We closely engage with our third-party suppliers in various Aceh districts, including the smallholders who supply them, to work towards sustainable production. We empower them to produce palm oil sustainably and work towards NDPE commitment. This includes training smallholders on good agricultural practices, working on their land legality, and engaging our third-party suppliers through supplier workshops.
We have been establishing and running Smallholders Hubs in Aceh and working with other actors in the Aceh Tamiang and Aceh Singkil districts to integrate them with existing government – and private sector-run multi-stakeholder programs at the district level. The Hubs will support the trialing of the HCSA simplified checklist for smallholders and will be established in collaboration with Musim Mas partners, especially consumer goods companies.
We assist villages in developing and drafting land use plans via a participatory planning approach and village policies. Our work is augmented with outreach programs to external stakeholders (such as local governments, GAPKI (Gabungan Pengusaha Kelapa Sawit Indonesia), NGOs, IDH, local communities, farmer cooperatives, or organizations) to collaborate on spatial planning, legalization of land titles for smallholders and customary rights holders, socialization and engagement of affected parties, and tackling immediate issues on the ground, for example, human-wildlife conflicts.
Using satellite monitoring systems, we have far more accurate information on land clearance and deforestation activities in Aceh than was previously possible, enabling Musim Mas to adopt evidence-based strategies and allocate our resources better. Musim Mas actively supports the Radar Alerts for Detecting Deforestation (RADD) platform in Aceh Timur, Aceh Tamiang, Aceh Singkil, Aceh Selatan, and Subulussalam.
The need for higher traceability in risky areas has been a central part of our discussions, and we have proposed solutions to address traceability and deforestation challenges at large.
Musim Mas developed our NDP Risk Management Framework to guide how we conduct risk-based assessments for mills and their supply bases, identify higher-risk mills, and establish mitigation efforts. Verifications are carried out by a dedicated verification team and with a standard operating procedure (SOP).
As of December 2021, 100% risk-based traceability has been conducted for Aceh.
In 2019, we launched our first Aceh Progress Report as a means for us to communicate the projects and efforts we have put in within the Aceh Province.
Since then, we have published periodic reports on Aceh to inform and share this progress with our stakeholders.