Indonesian NGOs just issued a press release alleging that RSPO member ANJ has been using the mobile police brigade to violently repress indigenous Iwaro people, who have been objecting to the way their lands have been taken over for a plantation. ANJ has extensive oil palm developments in Papua and West Papua. The complaint concerns one ANJ subsidiary, PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM), which is alleged to have seized the Iwaro people’s land without their consent.
According to the Indonesian NGOs, PPM has on several occasions used force to suppress the Iwaro indigenous people who are seeking to defend their rights. Alleged abuses include intimidation, violence, criminalization, imprisonment. The people have objected to the lack of respect for their land rights and procedural rights, like ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent’, which the RSPO standard is meant to uphold.
The complaint has come to light just as the RSPO is about to hold its annual roundtable meeting in Bali. FPP Senior Policy Advisor, Marcus Colchester, who is attending the roundtable noted:
Last year RSPO members agreed to urgently develop a mandatory protocol to protect community spokespersons, complainants, human rights defenders and whistleblowers from repression. Unfortunately agreement on such a process has been delayed. Here is another report showing how often land disputes escalate in wholly unacceptable ways. RSPO needs to up its game!