The inaugural session of the Asian Youth for Sustainable Palm oil kick starts on this beautiful, bright Sunday morning at Novotel, Bangkok. 60 delegates and smallholders from India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and China gathered early in the morning to understand the complexity of the issue at hand and brainstorm solutions to it, nonetheless network and make friends!
The Summit commenced with a welcome note by Kamal Seth from RSPO India, Margareth Naulie Panggabean from RSPO Indonesia, Benjamim Tay from PMHaze, Kanokwan Saswattecha from GIZ Thailand.
Questions like ‘why have we gathered here?’ and ‘what we want to get from the summit?’ was thrown at the delegates by Kamal and each country shared their views on this. The main census was about collaborating and bringing the conversation to the table and learn and share ideas.
This was followed by an overview of Palm Oil production by Kamal who explains Palm oil to general people as “It is in our blood and our skin”. He explained how Palm oil is the most efficient oil we have for our use and how banning palm oil will only encourage more deforestation. RSPO’s share in the production of palm oil is about 19%. The real question mark is on the remaining 81% which is produced unsustainably. But the shocker really is that only 50% of the sustainable palm oil produced is actually bought by the consumers! He also shared other challenges related to this with the companies, stakeholders and the government too.
Margareth from RSPO Indonesia then spoke about RSPO’s Initiatives and Roadmap for Sustainability. She stoked the already enthusiastic delegates with her beautiful memories of her life and brought the realization that how the kind of environment we have currently will dwindle down if we don’t take initiative now! She also shared a fun music video made by the youth in Indonesia to make aware the consumers about Ecobel, a sustainability mark in the country.
Kamal then shared the concept of the Golden Circle and the interesting ‘Why?’ circle by Simon Sinek and helped the delegates align their skills and interests with the climate crisis. Leaving the delegates all deterred to act and engage with his trick, more speakers follow…