Mott Foundation - "Protecting indigenous rights is NGOs’ shared passion"

Article on Charles Stewart Mott Foundation website, covering the work of Forest Peoples Programme and partner Sawit Watch. By Maggie Jaruzel Potter. The following is an excerpt from the article:

"Marcus Colchester, through his work with the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), helps local NGOs and indigenous people hold governments and international financial institutions (IFIs) accountable for their investment decisions.

For many years, he says, FPP has focused its efforts on creating awareness and mobilizing Indonesians to reform the global palm oil industry, which markets its product for food, cosmetics and as bio-fuel. Since the 1980s, Colchester says, the palm oil industry has received more than $2 billion from the World Bank.

He and his FPP colleagues have many years of experience working with policymakers and IFIs directly, but they don’t start there. Instead, FPP uses the bottom-up approach like CASA, working first with people on the ground before sharing what it has learned with top-level policymakers, Colchester says.

“We take our lead from the local people,” he said. “What has been the secret to our success is our alliance with people on the ground, at the village level, who know exactly what is going on.”

"Monitoring palm oil industry to protect people and planet" - Interview with Marcus Colchester (FPP) by Maggie Jaruzel Potter, Mott Foundation

Excerpt from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation website:

"Marcus Colchester is director of the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the United Kingdom that supports the rights of those who live in forests and depend upon them for their livelihoods. FPP staff members help people secure their rights, control their land and decide their future. Mott Foundation Communications Officer Maggie Jaruzel Potter conducted a phone interview with Colchester about the organization’s work, which is supported through the International Finance for Sustainability focus area of Mott’s Environment program. This is an edited transcript of that conversation.

Palm Oil, Human Rights and the World Bank - Update

Since the 1980s, the World Bank Group has invested more than US$2 billion to promote the global trade in palm oil. The expansion of the crop in intensive mono-cultures, especially in Southeast Asia, has been associated with the extensive clearance of tropical forests, land grabbing and widespread human rights abuses. In response to our complaints, the World Bank Group froze funding for the sector worldwide while it came up with a comprehensive strategy for engagement. A first draft document was released in July for comments. It has failed to address the main issues raised in the consultation, therefore Forest Peoples Programme and its partners have again appealed to the World Bank President for a rethink. 

El aceite de palma, los derechos humanos y el Banco Mundial – Avance informativo

Desde la pasada década de los 80 el Grupo del Banco Mundial ha invertido más de 2000 millones de USD en promover el comercio mundial del aceite de palma. La expansión de esta especie en monocultivos intensivos, especialmente en el sudeste de Asia, lleva asociado el desmonte extensivo de bosques tropicales, la usurpación de tierras y abusos generalizados de los derechos humanos. En respuesta a nuestras quejas, el Grupo del Banco Mundial congeló la financiación para el sector en todo el mundo mientras ideaba una estrategia exhaustiva de participación. En julio publicó un primer borrador para que fuese comentado. En dicho documento no se abordan las principales cuestiones planteadas durante la consulta, por lo que el Forest Peoples Programme (Programa para los Pueblos de los Bosques) y sus socios han vuelto a apelar al Grupo del Banco Mundial para que lo reconsidere. 

Huile de palme, droits humains et Banque mondiale – Actualité

Depuis les années 1980, le Groupe de la Banque mondiale a investi plus de 2 milliards de dollars US dans la promotion du commerce mondial de l’huile de palme. Le développement de cette culture en monocultures intensives, notamment en Asie du sud-est, a été associé au défrichement à grande échelle des forêts tropicales, à l’accaparement des terres et à la violation généralisée des droits humains. En réponse à nos plaintes, le Groupe de la Banque mondiale a gelé le financement de ce secteur à travers le monde pendant qu’il élaborait une stratégie globale d’engagement. Un premier projet a été soumis à des commentaires en juillet. Puisqu’il n’abordait pas les problèmes principaux soulevés lors des consultations, le Forest Peoples Programme et ses partenaires ont encore une fois lancé un appel au Président de la Banque mondiale afin que cette stratégie soit revue. 

Indonesian NGOs concerned about IFC-supported expansion of plantations

Letter from leading forest policy, environment, human rights and social justice NGOs expresses concern that IFC's planned 250,000 hectare plantations expansion project could lead to illegality and impunity, environmental mismanagement, abuse of rights, impoverishment of rural peoples and exacerbate climate change.Letter to IFC