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.”