Indonesian NGOs have protested strongly to the Indonesian government authorities and RSPO about an incident they recorded on 18th December 2017, when police security forces shot and wounded two farmers. The shootings allegedly took place in one of Wilmar International’s oil palm plantations in Central Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo.
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’.
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.
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.
The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's private sector arm, has just issued a strongly worded report which formally closes its efforts to mediate the resolution of land disputes between affected communities and the oil palm company PT Asiatic Persada (PT AP) in Jambi Province in Indonesia.
Oil palm giant and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) member, Wilmar, has agreed the sale of its oil palm concession PT Asiatic Persada, without prior consultation or respect for the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of indigenous Batin Sembilan communities already engaged in a land conflict mediation process.
This complaint is directed to Wilmar Group regarding its sale agreement of PT Asiatic Persada (Jambi, Indonesia) to Prima Fortune International Ltd and PT Agro Mandiri Semesta.
In 2011, the World Bank Group (WBG) adopted a Framework and Strategy for investment in the palm oil sector. The new approach was adopted on the instructions of former World Bank President Robert Zoellick, after a damning audit by International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) semi-independent Compliance Advisory Ombudsman (CAO) had shown that IFC staff were financing the palm oil giant, Wilmar, without due diligence and contrary to the IFC’s Performance Standards. Wilmar is the world’s largest palm oil trader, supplying no less than 45% of globally traded palm oil. The audit, carried out in response to a series of detailed complaints from Forest Peoples Programme and partners, vindicated many of our concerns that Wilmar was expanding its operations in Indonesia in violation of legal requirements, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards and IFC norms and procedures. Almost immediately after the audit was triggered, IFC divested itself of its numerous other palm oil investments in Southeast Asia.
International and Indonesian civil society organisations' complaint on transparency and corporate social responsibility of Wilmar International regarding treatment of civil society queries in communications with Wilmar subsidiary PT Anugrah Rejeki Nusantara (Merauke, Papua, Indonesia).
Nigerian NGOs and community leaders have filed a formal complaint with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil challenging the proposals of the palm oil transnational Wilmar International to expand its operations in Cross River State in the Southeast of the country.
Click here to read the full article from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (in Norwegian only), which features an interview with FPP's Sophie Chao.