Oil palm plantation provides economic, social, and ecological benefits simultaneously. As a consumer of palm oil, our society gets so many benefits because we pay for one but enjoy three benefits
The welfare of society is not only measured by its economy, not just its social issues, but also a matter of environmental sustainability. Sustained welfare concerns all of the three aspects; economic, social and environmental. Therefore, the development of welfare happens when the development also includes economic benefits, social benefits and environmental benefits simultaneously. This is one of the goals that what we want to achieve through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have been enforced by UN during the period of 2016-2030.
Development is not only about improving economic indicators, while on the other hand increasing poverty and environmental sustainability is threatened. Likewise, development is not enough to produce only a sustainable environment, while the increasing number of poverty is ignored and the necessary consumer goods are unavailable and unaffordable. Development of community welfare is development that increases the production of consumer goods, increases purchasing power, reduce / eradicate poverty ,and also contribute to the preservation of the environment.
Is there any sector / industry that can create economic, social and ecological benefits at once? The forestry sector, obviously ecological benefits resulted are very high, but the social benefits and economic benefits are relatively small. In contrast, the urban sector (industry, commerce) generates substantial economic benefits, but its social and ecological benefits are very small. Unlike the forestry sector and urban sector, plantation sector, especially oil palm plantations, seem to be able to harmonize these three benefits at once. Oil palm produces wide economic benefits such as generating foreign exchange, government revenue, plantation income, food crops, bio-fuels, biomass and biomaterials.
Oil palm also produces social benefits such as absorbing rural labor, reducing poverty, balancing uneven regional development, and is also a part of the food security and energy system. International institutions have widely recognized that oil palm plantations in Indonesia play an important role in poverty alleviation and rural development.
In addition to these economic and social benefits, oil palm plantations also create ecological benefits. They absorb carbon dioxide, generate oxygen, increase biomass stock, and also serve as soil and water conservation. Many doctorate dissertation level researches even prove that oil palm plantations qualify as soil and water conservation crops.
In other words, it produces three benefits (three-in-one benefit); which are economic, social, and ecological benefits. As oil palm is growing, economic, social and ecological benefits are also increasing simultaneously. As the consumers of cooking oil, we only pay for cooking oil, but without us knowing, besides enjoying cooking oil, we actually also enjoy the social and ecological benefits. In other words, we pay for one but enjoy three benefits.
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