Back to search results

Sustainable, climate-friendly palm oil production and procurement

As of: February 2021

Global demand for palm oil has risen in recent years. Producer countries like Indonesia and Thailand have responded by expanding oil palm cultivation—which frequently leads to ecological problems and social injustices. The project works with stakeholders in partner countries to encourage the take-up of sustainable and climate-friendly cultivation practices among smallholders, to increase yield per unit area and achieve certification to international standards. Educational programmes are benefiting smallholders, oil mills and the government in both countries. In Indonesia, stakeholders in one pilot region are developing a land usage plan with protected areas as well as areas suitable for oil palm cultivation. To boost demand for products using certified palm oil in Germany, the project is also developing procurement guidelines for pilot municipalities. The project is also targeting consumer platforms in order to raise awareness about sustainably produced palm oil. /
Predecessor project(s)
Sustainable Palm Oil Production for Bioenergy

State of implementation/results


  • The BAPPENAS Ministry of Planning is supported by the project in developing technical guidelines for a jurisdictional approach to palm oil production. This includes policies for the protection of areas with high ecological conservation value in spatial development plans.
  • In September 2019, the Governor of East Kalimantan Province and the President of East-Kutai County signed a cooperation agreement with GIZ to support small farmers in sustainable oil palm production.
  • Four of the municipalities in East Kalimantan supported by the project have designated 9,400 ha as protected areas in their regional planning, of which 1,400 ha were previously designated for oil palm plantations. The palm oil smallholder cooperatives in these municipalities manage 2,700 ha and are being prepared by the project for certification by the ISPO and RSPO organisations.
  • With the support of the project, an increasing amount of data on land use and palm oil production can be viewed on the website of the East-Kutai government district:
  • An online platform for smallholder oil palm farmers is now offering online learning courses for the first time to prepare them for certification according to the sustainability standard RSPO.


  • Thailand consumes a large part of the palm oil it produces itself. There is no awareness of sustainable palm oil among either traders or consumers. The project has taken several measures to raise public awareness of the issue.
  • An online campaign on sustainable palm oil through social media like Facebook and LinkedIn has been launched.
  • "i-PALM": The project has developed a special app for palm oil farmers. With its help they can increase their yields, while conserving resources and saving greenhouse gases. It also accompanies them on their way to certification according to the sustainability standard RSPO.


  • Hanover leads the way as a pioneering municipality for sustainable palm oil procurement. A cooperation between Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and Hanover aims to procure palm oil products exclusively from certified cultivation. Hanover is the first model municipality in Germany to strictly exclude conventional palm oil from purchasing. This is also a response to the destruction of the rainforest and human rights violations in Germany.
  • DUH is calling on other German cities, towns and municipalities to obtain free advice on sustainable palm oil in public procurement. This will be part of the "Tour of the Palm Oil Ambassador" from the end of 2020 until August 2021. Registrations are now possible at:
  • DUH published a press release on the sustainable cultivation of palm oil in March 2020:…
  • A round table on "Certified palm oil in animal feed" will take place in November 2020. The aim is for stakeholders along the supply chain of animal products to discuss the fastest possible conversion to deforestation-free palm oil.

Project data

Indonesia, Thailand

Implementing organisation:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Political partner(s):
  • Ministry of Agriculture - Indonesia
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives - Thailand

Implementing partner(s):
  • Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Department of Agriculture - Thailand
  • Yayasan Konservasi Khatulistiwa Indonesia (YASIWA)

BMU grant:
5.200.000,00 €

09/2018  till  09/2022


  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+