Indonesia is one of the countries that has started to move towards a green economy. In the 11th UNEP Special Session on Governing Council meeting in Bali, the Government of Indonesia declared a green economy paradigm in which development is based on a resource efficiency approach with an emphasis on internalizing the costs of depletion and environmental degradation, efforts to combat poverty, create decent jobs, and ensure sustainable economic growth. The oil palm plantation sector also plays a role in implementing a green economy through the production of environmentally friendly biofuel sources (biodiesel with a 2022 production of 8.6 million KL) and supporting the use of renewable electricity sources from biogas in CPO processing plants. The area of oil palm plantations which reaches 16.3 million hectares (of which 59% are owned by the private sector and state-owned enterprises, while the rest is smallholder oil palm plantations) has been able to make Indonesia the largest palm oil producer in the world with a contribution of 37.3% of the total volume of palm oil production in the world (BPJS 2020 and USDA 2019). Palm oil also made a real contribution to the country’s foreign exchange amounting to USD 35.79 billion, which is an increase of 56.63% of the export value in 2020 (Ministry of Industry Republic of Indonesia, 2021). In addition, oil palm plantations have also been able to increase people’s income and absorb around 16.2 million workers (Azhari 2022).
The implementation of a green economy in oil palm plantations can be carried out starting by choosing the location of the plantation, a fertilization system that pays attention to soil conservation, and a production process that leaves no waste. Nowadays, the practice of using biodiversity for controlling pests in oil palm plantations has also been carried out, one of which is the use of owls in controlling rat pests in oil palm plantations. Other types of animals such as cobras, leopard cat, and macaques that are often found in oil palm plantations are also can be used as a natural predator of rats in oil palm plantations. Several studies also shown the role of biodiversity as a natural pesticide in controlling caterpillar pests to replace synthetic chemical pesticides. In addition, the weaver ant species (Oecophylla smaragdina) also has a role as a biological controller against several caterpillar pests in oil palm plantations (Fahaludin 2012). Several companies have also started encouraging the use of biopesticides to maintain the health of the soil and palm trees. The use of organic fertilizers and biofertilizers has also been applied by national oil palm players in the last few years. Generally, planters still use solid and liquid waste to be used as organic fertilizer. However, currently available biofertilizers are equipped with microbes with special functions.
In connection with that the Center for the Natures Study, Advocacy and Conservation (PUSAKA KALAM) in collaboration with the Faculty of Forestry of IPB University and the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD) deems it necessary to invite experts from various parts of the world and from multi- discipline to discuss objectively and scientifically about optimizing the rule of biodiversity in oil palm plantation through The 3rd International Conference on Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation with the topic: ”Optimizing the roles of biodiversity in improving the economic and ecological aspects of oil palm plantation”.
It is hoped that the international conference will be able to discuss and clarify the biodiversity’s role and in turn the “best practice sustainable palm oil management” can be formulated. In this connection, the presence and participation of academicians, researchers, bureaucrats, NGOs, business people/practitioners, mass media reporters, and others at this International Conference is very important.
The purpose of the 3rd International Conference on Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (ICNREC) is to discuss objectively and scientifically about optimization of the roles of biodiversity in improving the economic and ecological aspects of palm oil plantation, so that a common perception among all stakeholders related to optimizing biodiversity in oil palm plantations and palm oil industry both nationally and internationally. Furthermore, by obtaining the same perception, it is expected that the best practices for sustainable management of oil palm plantations can be formulated. Also, the papers collected will be published in Scopus indexed proceedings.