This research was undertaken under the INSELA Research Project on Environmental Law and Administration in Indonesia at the Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University, and at the Australian National University under an Australian Research Council grant entitled “Oil Palm and Agrarian Transition on the Indonesian and Malaysian Frontiers.” Thanks to Adriaan Bedner, Benjamin van Rooij, and Piers Gillespie for their comments on earlier versions of this article.
Regulating the Oil Palm Boom: Assessing the Effectiveness of Environmental Governance Approaches to Agro-industrial Pollution in Indonesia
Version of Record online: 11 NOV 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy
Law & Policy
Volume 32, Issue 1, pages 153–179, January 2010
How to Cite
MCCARTHY, J. and ZEN, Z. (2010), Regulating the Oil Palm Boom: Assessing the Effectiveness of Environmental Governance Approaches to Agro-industrial Pollution in Indonesia. Law & Policy, 32: 153–179. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9930.2009.00312.x
- Issue online: 16 DEC 2009
- Version of Record online: 11 NOV 2009
The large environmental impacts associated with agro-industrial development in Indonesia are both striking and increasingly important, especially with increased demand for biofuels and the rapid extension of oil palm plantations. Recently, Indonesia has also seen a series of transformations in the regulatory regime for pollution control with decentralization and a shift towards new environmental policy instruments. This article considers the effectiveness of these new approaches, including the widely influential International Organization for Standardizations (ISO) 14001 series for environmental management systems and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification system. Despite the turn towards these new governance approaches, the underlying problems that have undermined bureaucratic regulation in the past continue to haunt attempts to make the sector more sustainable. Efforts to mitigate the increasingly large-scale pollution associated with agro-industrial development will need to be better crafted and combined to suit the characteristics of the industry concerned and to address the wider socio-economic and political realities within which problems are embedded and where any policy tool must be applied.