Resources

FPP E-Newsletter December 2013 (PDF Version)

Dear Friends,

What are the prospects for securing the land rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, and women in the foreseeable future?

Significantly, the report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, under Goal 1 to “End Poverty”, sets a target to “Increase by x% the share of women and men, communities, and businesses with secure rights to land, property, and other assets”.

Conflict or Consent? The oil palm sector at a crossroads

Click here to read related PRESS RELEASE.

Read this report in English or in Bahasa Indonesia

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.

Press Release - Sustainable Palm Oil: Marketing Ploy or True Commitment? New Research Questions Effectiveness of RSPO Standards

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.

FPP E-Newsletter July 2013 (PDF Version)

Dear Friends,

Mutual recognition, mutual respect and mutual benefit are among the desirable attributes of all human relationships. Indigenous peoples and other forest peoples also expect these qualities in their relationships with others – be they governments, private corporations, NGOs or other indigenous peoples’ organisations and communities. This issue of Forest Peoples Programme’s E-Newsletter reports on the state of various relationships between forest peoples and different institutions – as these are forged, tested or broken –in the course of assertions for upholding basic human rights, social justice and solidarity.

The World Bank’s Palm Oil Policy

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[1] 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.

A Política do Banco Mundial sobre o Óleo de Palma

Em 2011, o Grupo Banco Mundial (WBG na sigla em inglês) adotou um Quadro e Estratégia para investimentos no setor de óleo de palma. A nova abordagem foi adotada sob instruções do ex-presidente do Banco Mundial, Robert Zoellick, depois de uma condenatória auditoria realizada pelo Compliance Advisory Ombudsman - CAO - (Ouvidor para a Verificação do Cumprimento das Regras) da International Finance Corporation - IFC- (Corporação Financeira Internacional) ter revelado que o pessoal da IFC estava financiando o gigante do óleo de palma, Wilmar[1], sem a devida diligência, e contrário às Normas de Desempenho da IFC. Wilmar é o maior comerciante de óleo de palma do mundo, abastecendo nada menos que 45% do óleo de palma comercializado mundialmente. A auditoria, realizada em resposta a uma série de reclamações detalhadas do Forest Peoples Programme e dos seus parceiros, confirmou muitas das nossas preocupações de que Wilmar estava expandindo suas operações na Indonésia, em violação às exigências legais, normas da Mesa Redonda sobre Óleo de Palma Sustentável (RSPO na sigla em inglês) e as normas e procedimentos da IFC. Quase imediatamente depois do início da auditoria, a IFC desfez-se dos seus outros inúmeros investimentos em óleo de palma no sudeste da Ásia.

Safeguards and the Private Sector: Emerging lessons from voluntary standards and commodity roundtables

Public indignation about the depredations of ill-regulated business has led to a growing recognition of the responsibilities of businesses to respect human rights, as well as the need for stronger regulations to improve the way products are made and ensure that environments and peoples’ rights are respected and protected. There is now greater awareness that what is urgently needed is strengthened environmental stewardship and land governance, reforms of land tenure, and improved enforcement of revised and just laws.

As salvaguardas e o Setor Privado: Lições extraídas das normas voluntárias e mesas redondas de commodities

A indignação pública com relação as depredações realizadas por empresas malreguladas levou a um maior reconhecimento das responsabilidades que as empresas têm em respeitar os direitos humanos, assim como a necessidade de regulações mais estritas para melhorar as formas de produção e garantir a proteção e o respeito pelos ambientes e os direitos dos povos indígenas. Atualmente, existe uma maior conscientização de que é urgentemente necessário fortalecer a administração ambiental e a governança relacionada às terras, reformas relativas à posse da terra e uma melhor aplicação de leis justas e revisadas. Estas reformas estão demorando em serem implementadas. Consequentemente, os consumidores e compradores estão pressionando para que haja mudança mais rápidas. Isso deu lugar ao surgimento de normalizações por parte do setor privado para a regulação da produção e processamento de commodities, com a finalidade de respeitar os direitos, assegurar meios de vida favoráveis e sustentáveis, e desviar a pressão das áreas vitais para a subsistência local e com elevado valor de conservação. As normas, que reconhecem a importância da proteção dos direitos consuetudinários relacionados à terra e a outros recursos naturais, e o direito ao consentimento prévio, livre e informado, agora foram desenvolvidas para inter alia a silvicultura, propriedades madeireiras, óleo de palma, soja, açúcar, aquicultura, biocombustíveis e sequestro de carbono.

Video: Rethinking Foreign Direct Investments in Agriculture in South East Asia

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.

FPP E-Newsletter December 2012 (PDF Version)

Dear Friends,

The importance of ensuring respect for the rights of forest peoples’ to control their forests, lands and livelihoods, becomes ever clearer and yet more contested. As the articles in this edition of our newsletter starkly reveal, land and resource grabs are not just being imposed by commercial developers but are being actively promoted by governments, whose principle responsibility should be to protect the rights of citizens. Yet these same impositions are also being resisted, sometimes at great personal cost, by local communities and indigenous peoples.

Making Palm Oil Accountable?

Globally oil palm plantations continue to expand at a rapid rate. World leader, Indonesia, has raced past Malaysia to become the number one producer. Latest data from the Indonesian watchdog NGO, SawitWatch, suggests that oil palm plantations in Indonesia now cover 11 million hectares, up from 6 million hectares only five years ago. New plantings are spreading to the smaller islands of the archipelago and to the less developed areas of eastern Indonesia. Hopes that a Presidential promise of a 2 year moratorium on forest clearance would slow the crop’s expansion – part of a deal to reduce green house gas emissions - have also evaporated as the government has excepted areas where preliminary permits have already been handed out.