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Updated Press Release: Bali Declaration acclaimed at Agribusiness and Human Rights in Southeast Asia Workshop

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 Release: Agribusiness and Human Rights in Southeast Asia Workshop brings together Human Rights Commissioners, indigenous peoples’ representatives, academics and NGOs from across the world. November 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.”

Press Release: Palm Oil Need Not Harm Environment or Local Communities, says New Study. 21 November 2011

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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.

Oil Palm Expansion in South East Asia: Trends and implications for local communities and indigenous peoples

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. 

Press Release: Precedent-setting land deal in palm oil expansion zone in Borneo. 21 March 2011

 

PONTIANAK - A new oil palm plantation being developed in Indonesian Borneo (West Kalimantan) has relinquished community lands to which it had gained a government permit. The company PT Agro Wiratama, a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and subsidiary of the giant Musim Mas group, agreed to relinquish more than 1,000 hectares of its 9,000 hectare concession back to the community, following interventions by community representatives and NGOs.

New World Bank palm oil strategy under scrutiny

In January the World Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), released a substantially revised draft of their framework and strategy for engagement in the palm oil sector. The text, circulated for 30 days of public comment, is due to be submitted for approval - after revisions based on any comments received - to the President and Board of Directors in March or April 2011. If the text is approved, the World Bank will then end the worldwide funding moratorium for palm oil projects that it agreed to in 2009 after an internal audit (carried out in response to FPP and partners’ complaints) revealed major violations of due diligence and serious social and environmental impacts.

Nueva estrategia del Banco Mundial sobre el aceite de palma bajo escrutinio

En enero el Banco Mundial y su brazo para el sector privado, la Corporación Financiera Internacional (IFC por sus siglas en inglés), elaboraron un borrador del nuevo marco estratégico para su participación en el sector del aceite de palma modificando considerablemente la versión anterior. Después de divulgarlo para someterlo a la opinión pública durante 30 días y de modificarlo en función de los comentarios recibidos, el borrador va a ser sometido a la aprobación del Presidente y la Junta de Directores en marzo o abril de 2011. Si el texto es aprobado, el Banco Mundial pondrá fin a la moratoria mundial de financiación de proyectos relacionados con el aceite de palma que acordó en 2009 después de que una auditoría interna (realizada en respuesta a quejas del FPP y sus socios) revelara graves incumplimientos de su diligencia debida y graves impactos sociales y ambientales.