Producers and buyers explore Verified Sourcing Area

In the Province of Aceh, we aim to protect the remaining natural forest on private, state and community land with a specific focus on the world-acclaimed Leuser ecosystem. IDH connected large palm oil buyers such as Pepsico and Unilever that have a reputational interest in delinking palm oil from deforestation and are looking for cost effective solutions, to the government of Aceh Tamiang. The government, the palm oil companies and IDH are exploring how to create a Verified Sourcing Area (VSA) in Aceh Tamiang.

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Speech by the head of district during the launch of the PPI Compact and VSA readiness pilot in Aceh on December 12 2019

IDH together with Government of Aceh is developing a Green Growth Plan (GGP), to define a roadmap for producing sustainable commodities whilst protecting natural forests. Together with Aceh governments, palm oil producers (including PT Semadam, PT Mopoli, PT Socfin, PTPN 1 and PT Bahroeny) and CSOs, IDH aims to improve sustainable agricultural production on 13,000 ha, conserve 230,000 ha of HCV/HCS forest and enhance the livelihoods of 1,000 smallholder farmers and 500 community members, based on VSA approach. This will help palm oil companies to supply their buyers (like Unilever and PepsiCo) cost effectively with 100% responsible palm oil.

Since 2017, IDH has been working closely with the provincial and district governments to support green growth strategy and implementation project in Aceh Tamiang and Aceh Timur. As a result, in 2018 the regional medium-term development plan (RPJMD) of Aceh Tamiang has been completed. This document is very critical to map the development planning in the district that balances economic and environmental sustainability.


Total land cover 5.8 million ha
Total forest cover 3.2 million ha of which 2.6 million is in Leuser or Ulu Masen ecosystems
Aceh Timur 546,000 ha
Aceh Tamiang 215,000 ha
Forest loss 1996 – 2013 320,000 ha
Landscape features highlands, mountains, tropical rainforest, Leuser ecosystem, rich in biodiversity
Main commodities palm oil, rubber, forestry products, rice
Main causes of forest loss deforestation for agriculture

We work with the provincial and district level governments to create green growth strategies and an enabling legal framework & enforcement.

Further, we convene palm oil, rubber and other companies, government and communities around Leuser ecosystem to develop, implement, and monitor a participatory land-use and management plan with positive impact on community livelihoods, business performance, and forest protection.

In Aceh Timur and Aceh Tamiang, we collaborate closely with the district governments to develop PPI compacts. We create financial benefits for sustainable production (such as increased yields and market access); forest protection (for example by making investments in production conditional to protection results); and smallholder inclusion in value chains.

IDH works at the market end, especially in Europe, to drive the uptake of the sustainably produced commodities in the landscape. Our market convening work also creates a stronger business case for the companies on the ground to produce more sustainably.
To drive the uptake of more sustainable palm oil in Europe, IDH and MVO (the Dutch Oils and Fats Industry) established the European Sustainable Palm Oil, or ESPO, project in 2015. The project was initiated to stimulate the uptake of more sustainable palm oil in Europe, and its objective is to achieve ‘100% sustainable palm oil in Europe by 2020’. ESPO works in close collaboration with various National Palm Oil Initiatives on sustainable palm oil, the RSPO and umbrella EU associations, such as Caobisco (confectionary), Fediol (refineries) and Imace (margarines), and connects to the green sourcing areas.


Title Type Year
Landscapes Information Brief: IDH’s approach to sustainable landscapes Brochure 2018
IDH Landscape program Brochure 2018
Indonesia Landscape Factsheet Brochure 2018
Conveners Guide for Building Landscape Coalitions Toolkit and guide 2017
IDH Landscapes Forum Report Report 2017

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