On 4 – 6 November, National Human Rights Commissions and civil society organisations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Lao PDR and Myanmar, congregated in Yangon for the Fourth Regional Conference on Human Rights and Agribusiness in Southeast Asia. This year it was hosted by the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, co-organised by Forest Peoples Programme and RECOFTC – The Centre for People and Forests, and supported by the Rights and Resources Initiative, Ford Foundation, the Climate and Land Use Alliance, and the UK Department for International Development.
Growing global demand for palm oil is fuelling the large-scale expansion of oil palm plantations across Southeast Asia and Africa. Concerns about the environmental and social impacts of the conversion of vast tracts of land to monocrop plantations led in 2004 to the establishment of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which encourages oil palm expansion in ways that do not destroy high conservation values or cause social conflict. Numerous international agencies have also called for reforms of national frameworks to secure communities’ rights and to develop sound land governance.
La creciente demanda mundial de aceite de palma está avivando la expansión a gran escala de plantaciones de palma de aceite por todo el sudeste de Asia y por África. La preocupación por las consecuencias ambientales y sociales de la conversión de vastas extensiones de tierra en plantaciones de monocultivo condujo al establecimiento en 2004 de la Mesa Redonda sobre el Aceite de Palma Sostenible (RSPO por sus siglas en inglés), la cual fomenta la expansión de la palma de aceite de maneras que no destruyan altos valores de conservación ni causen conflictos sociales. Numerosas agencias internacionales también han pedido reformas de los marcos nacionales para asegurar los derechos de las comunidades y establecer una gobernanza de la tierra buena y responsable.
MEDAN, INDONESIA (7 November, 2013)—Members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) are violating the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in the forests and peatlands of tropical nations worldwide, according to a new research publication released today. The study details the performance of 16 oil palm operations, many run by RSPO members, reporting on their failure to uphold human rights and environmental standards required.
This series of studies provides updated information about large-scale land acquisitions in the region, with the aim of identifying trends, common threats, divergences and possible solutions. As well as summarising trends in investment, trade, crop development and land tenure arrangements, the studies focus on the land tenure and human rights challenges.
Esta serie de estudios proporciona información actualizada sobre adquisiciones de tierra a gran escala en la región del sudeste asiático, con el fin de identificar tendencias, amenazas comunes, divergencias y posibles soluciones. Además de resumir las tendencias de la inversión, el comercio, el desarrollo de cultivos y los regímenes de tenencia de la tierra, los estudios se centran en los retos que plantean la tenencia de la tierra y los derechos humanos.
This video, produced by the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI), includes interviews with individuals from various NGOs, including FPP and Sawit Watch, during the Public Forum on Inclusive, Sustainable Foreign Direct Investments in Agriculture in South East Asia which took place in Bangkok in March 2013.
12th – 13th March 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Free, Prior and Informed Consent as an expression of right to self-determination of indigenous peoples
Free, Prior and Informed Consent in the palm oil sector in Southeast Asia
Indonesia’s largest palm oil company, Sinar Mas, ran into trouble recently when communities in Liberia complained about a 33,000 ha.
The international meeting of South East Asian Regional Human Rights Commissions on ‘Human Rights and Business: Plural Legal Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Institutional Strengthening and Legal Reform’ hosted by the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission (KOMNASHAM), in conjunction with Sawit Watch and Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) was held in Bali, Indonesia, from 28th November to 1st December 2011.
PRESS INFORMATION – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A landmark workshop, “Human Rights and Business: Plural Legal Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Institutional Strengthening and Legal Reform”, is taking place at the Santika Hotel, Kuta, Bali, from today until 1 December 2011, convened by the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and supporting NGOs SawitWatch and Forest Peoples Programme. The event will be attended by over 60 participants, from the National Human Rights Commissions of the Southeast Asian region, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Human Rights Commission, notable academics, representatives of indigenous peoples, as well as members of supportive national and international NGOs.
Nur Kholis, Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), said,
“We are taking this initiative in collaboration with the other human rights commissioners of South East Asia as a way of ensuring a more balanced approach to development based on respect for peoples’ rights, with an emphasis on the need to secure livelihoods and the right to food.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The exponential growth in the palm oil sector, which accounts for a third of the total global trade of 130 million tons of vegetable oil annually, is strongly challenged by indigenous peoples and civil society organisations. Indiscriminate land clearing and acquisition for oil palm plantations is resulting in rapid habitat loss, species extinctions and alarming greenhouse gas emissions. It has also led to the dispossession of both indigenous peoples and the rural poor who depend traditionally on forest habitats for their survival.
This insightful study by Forest Peoples Programme, SawitWatch, Samdhana Institute and the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) documents in detail, and for the first time, the way oil palm plantations are now expanding in very different ways across South East Asia as a whole. The study complements better known experiences in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea with new case studies of the processes of oil palm expansion in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.