In the spirit of working together for a sustainable future, on 7th November 2023, UGM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). A non-profit organization with voluntary members, RSPO focuses on bringing together stakeholders from across the palm oil supply chain to work on sustainable palm oil. On behalf of the CEO of RSPO, Francisco Naranjo (Technical Director) along with Stephany Iriana Pasaribu (Stakeholders Engagement Manager for Indonesia), Mursalin Hasmin (Senior Manager, Organizational Development & HRBP for Indonesia), and Imam A. El Marzuq (Senior Manager Global Community Outreach & Engagement) was welcomed by Prof. dr. Ova Emilia, M.Med.Ed., Sp.OG(K)., Ph.D. (Rector of UGM), Prof. Dr. Puji Astuti, S.Si., M.Sc., Apt. (Director of Partnership and Global Relations), Wiratni, S.T., M.T., Ph.D. (Secretary of the Directorate of Partnership and Global Relations), as well as representatives from Directorate of Education and Learning and Sub Directorate of Domestic Cooperation.
The MoU signing opens up a new avenue of collaborations between UGM and RSPO for the next 5 years in the area of education and research. “This is an important milestone for both [UGM and RSPO]. We aim to provide opportunities for students to reach the gap between education and practical experience in working life and to nurture growth and knowledge not only for their professional career, but also for the society and country by sharing the commitment to work for the planet and people,” said Francisco Naranjo.
In turn, Prof. Ova Emilia responded, “Both UGM and RSPO have overlapping missions. UGM is at the moment approaching theory with practice. Since last year, we have been active in MBKM (Independent Learning, Independent Campus). We are inviting corporations to have discussions and exposure to their expertise.”
One of the objectives of this MoU is to give students exposure to the working world through campus hiring and internships. Moreover, both sides will collaborate starting from research on sustainable palm oil to academic exchanges such as joint lectures, seminars, and workshops. As the first RSPO’s university partner in Indonesia, UGM as a higher education institution will be able to develop innovative solutions to overcome the challenges faced by the palm oil industry in various aspects of this cooperation.
Adding to this ceremony that promises future works, UGM invites RSPO to take a part in UGM’s super creative hub, in which 30 other corporations have agreed to get on board. This hub is estimated to run in February 2024. Lastly, this MoU signing ceremony was closed with a token exchange and photo session.