The National Interpretation Working Group Nigeria, has announced that the Board of Governors of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has endorsed the National Interpretation (NI) of the Principles and Criteria of RSPO for sustainable palm oil production in Nigeria.

According to the announcement made by the RSPO secretariat in a press release in Kuala Lumpur, Nigeria is now the third country, after Ghana and Gabon, in Africa to receive the endorsement of its National Interpretation.

The endorsement is significant for Nigeria as the leading palm oil producer in Africa and seeking a rebound into the global palm oil trade. To return to global reckoning, it is important for Nigeria to adopt an approach that does not cause deforestation or harm people in the production of palm oil.

This will set the tone for the application of the RSPO principles and criteria for the production of sustainable palm oil within the Nigerian local context.

Furthermore, the NI embodies the eight principles and criteria of RSPO that address the legal, economic, environmental and social requirements for producing sustainable palm oil.

Large estates and smallholders are thus encouraged to apply the NI in their production with a view to seeking RSPO certification ultimately.

The endorsed Nigeria National Interpretation, NGNI 2017, is effective immediately and Certification bodies (CBs) and RSPO member companies are strongly encouraged to start using it for any new audits as well as annual surveillance audits (ASAs).

It is compulsory for all audits and ASAs carried out from 31st August 2017 to be based on the NGNI 2017.