This review of existing and draft VPAs, carried out by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) finds that, across the board, VPAs do not require the incorporation of human rights laws (and more specifically, laws governing the fundamental question of community tenure in forest areas).
This suite of training materials has been developed for communities in Liberia to help increase awareness of the key principles surrounding free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) and to improve the implementation of these principles in practice.
This review is the result of several years of fieldwork by the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), and is the first step of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) funded project that examines putting into practice in Liberia the FAO Technical Guide entitled ‘Respecting free, prior and informed consent, Practical guidance for governments, companies, NGOs, indigenous peoples and local communities in relation to land acquisition’.
This review is the result of several years of fieldwork by the Liberian civil society organisation Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev), in partnership with the UK-based Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), and is part of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) funded project that examines putting into practice in Liberia the FAO Technical Guide entitled ‘Respecting free, prior and informed consent, Practical guidance for governments, companies, NGOs, indigenous peoples and local communities in relation to land acquisition’.
I wish to take this opportunity to inform our readers about recent changes at the Forest Peoples Programme.
During the last six months FPP has been undergoing an organisational review prompted by the growth of FPP’s staff and programmes of work spread across many countries. During this period of growth we have recognised the need to affirm our strategies and update our operational systems to become a more effective organisation.
The Paris Agreement of December 2015 encourages countries “…to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments…activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” (Article 5) as a key policy instrument for climate change mitigation. The Agreement also acknowledges the need to respect human rights in all climate actions. In principle, new investment in protected areas and REDD+ projects, by the World Bank and other international donors, are tied to strong social safeguards. These should be designed to ensure that a project does no harm and respects the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. At present, UN climate change convention safeguards go further and require carbon funding to provide additional social and ‘non-carbon’ benefits, though World Bank safeguards still fall short of this.
In December 2013, following pressure from its customers and investors, the palm oil giant Wilmar committed to delinking its entire supply chain, including joint ventures and third-party suppliers, from deforestation, peatland development, and human rights abuses. The commitment, to be fully implemented by December 2015, was welcomed by groups who had tracked and criticised Wilmar for its environmental destruction and human rights abuses. Two years on however, despite its promises, Wilmar has failed to resolve many long standing conflicts between its operations and impacted communities. The following material looks at a couple of cases where Wilmar has failed to resolve its conflicts with communities.
In response to consumer pressure to eliminate deforestation from products on supermarket shelves, corporations have been making numerous ‘Zero Deforestation’ pledges, often accompanied by ‘Zero Exploitation’ commitments. These companies seek to ensure that products in their ‘supply chains’ do not ‘embody deforestation’ and are not linked to land grabs and abuse of human and labour rights. These commitments are welcome but raise numerous questions: what do they require in practice and how can companies’ performance be verified?
On 28 January 2016, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights made public its judgment in the case of the Kaliña and Lokono Peoples v. Suriname. This case was first submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in January 2007 by the chiefs of the eight Kaliña and Lokono villages of the Lower Marowijne River and the Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS).
The final UN climate summit outcomes in Paris were weak on rights, but open the way to greater recognition of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge in climate policies and actions in the post 2020 climate regime.
Securing Indigenous Peoples’ rights to land and effective compliance with the FPIC standard will be key to ensure legality and sustainability in the implementation of climate programmes and financing.
Joint submission of Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education) and Forest Peoples Programme as a response to the Call for for Public Inputs on the Environmental and Social Management System of the Green Climate Fund.
The joint Civil Society Organizations submission on the ESMS contains a set of proposals for procedures aimed at identifying assessing and managing social and environmental risks, while defining roles and responsibilities of the various actors and guidelines for monitoring and reporting.
Letter from the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev) and Forest Peoples Programme to the Impacts Division and Complaints Panel (CP) of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), challenging the CP's 19th September 2015 decision and findings that Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) operations are broadly compliant with the RSPO standard.
Click here to read the letter
Alarming reports have emerged of illegal miners harassing the lives of Piaroa, Yabarana and Hiwi indigenous peoples in the Manapiare valley in the Venezuelan Amazon. The latest report details how illegal miners attacked and seriously wounded the Yabarana leader, Benjamin Perez, who leads the organisation, OIYAPAM, and then burned down his farm.
The Maninjau Resolution
28th January 2016
Wilmar’s broken promises: we want action not just pledges
The world’s largest palm oil trading company, Wilmar International Ltd. (F34.SI / WLIL.SI), promised ‘Zero Exploitation’ throughout its supply chain alongside its commitment to ‘Zero Deforestation’. As human rights workers and NGOs that support the rights of the indigenous peoples and local communities in Indonesia and internationally, we NGOs who assembled here near Lake Maninjau in West Sumatra on 26-28 January 2016, declare the following.