Unilever’s involvement in the project will focus on a sub-district of Aceh Tamiang called Semadam and will follow a three-pronged approach: protection, production and inclusion.
As part of its protection work, the initiative will include a robust system for monitoring, verifying and reporting on deforestation. These insights will also help inform which areas will then be prioritised for rehabilitation through agroforestry.
At the heart of the programme’s sustainable production endeavours is the training of independent smallholder farmers in good agricultural methods and best management practices.
The training modules, which are practical as well as theoretical, include instruction in sustainable certification systems and of “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation”’ policies, among many other themes.
The inclusion element of the pilot will involve a variety of mechanisms to involve and empower smallholders. A key aspect here will be encouraging the formation of farmer groups, which will assist in identifying collective needs and co-designing solutions.
H. Mursil, Head of Aceh Tamiang District, comments on the partnership:
“Unilever’s commitment will bring us one step closer to our green vision for Aceh Tamiang. We are committed to protecting the forest, increasing the productivity and yield of sustainable palm oil and improving smallholders’ livelihoods.”