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Conflict or Consent? The oil palm sector at a crossroads

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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.

Conflict or Consent? The oil palm sector at a crossroads

Pour lire ce rapport en anglais ou en indonésien.

La croissance de la demande mondiale en huile de palme favorise l’expansion à grande échelle des plantations de palmiers à huile en Asie du Sud-Est et en Afrique.  Les préoccupations concernant les impacts environnementaux et sociaux de la conversion de vastes étendues de terre en plantations de monocultures ont motivé la mise en place, en 2004, de la Table ronde pour la production durable de l’huile de palme (RSPO), qui encourage l’expansion de la production de palmiers à huile sans que celle-ci entraîne la destruction de hautes valeurs de conservation ni des conflits sociaux.  De nombreux organismes internationaux ont également réclamé la réforme des cadres nationaux afin de sauvegarder les droits des communautés et d’établir une bonne gouvernance foncière.

FPP E-Newsletter October 2013 (PDF Version)

Dear Friends,

The principle that the enjoyment of human rights is both the means and the goal of development, highlights the importance of human rights monitoring as a means for empowering rights-holders to exercise their rights, whilst holding States and other actors accountable for their human rights obligations.   

Bulletin d'information FPP Octobre 2013 (PDF Version)

Chers amis, 

Le principe selon lequel la jouissance des droits humains constitue à la fois le moyen et l’objectif du développement souligne l’importance du suivi des droits humains comme un moyen de permettre aux détenteurs de droits d’exercer leurs droits, tout en rendant les États et les autres acteurs responsables de leurs obligations en matière de droits humains. 

South East Asian Human Rights Commissioners and Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations adopt Bali Declaration on Human Rights and Agribusiness

Constructive dialogue and potential synergies between the National Human Rights Commissions and Institutions of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia, reached an important milestone at a four-day workshop in November in Bali, Indonesia. The workshop was convened by the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission and organised by Forest Peoples Programme and Indonesian NGO SawitWatch, with the support of the Rights and Resources Initiative, Samdhana Institute and RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests.

This landmark workshop on “Human Rights and Business: Plural Legal Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Institutional Strengthening and Legal Reform” was attended by 60 participants, including notable academics, indigenous peoples’ representatives and members of supportive national and international NGOs. An opening statement was made by UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, and a presentation was delivered by Raja Devasish Roy, elected Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNFPII) and traditional chief of the Chakma circle in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.

Les commissaires aux droits de l'homme de l’Asie du Sud-Est et les organisations des peuples autochtones adoptent la Déclaration de Bali sur les droits humains et l’agro-industrie

Un dialogue constructif et des synergies potentielles entre les commissions et institutions nationales des droits humains d’Indonésie, de Malaisie, de Thaïlande, des Philippines et du Cambodge ont permis de franchir une étape importante lors d’un atelier de quatre jours en novembre à Bali, en Indonésie. L’atelier a été convoqué par la Commission nationale des droits humains d’Indonésie, et organisé par le Forest Peoples Programme et l’ONG indonésienne Sawit Watch, avec le soutien de l’Initiative des droits et ressources (RRI), du Samdhana Institute et de RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests.

Cet atelier historique sur le thème « Droits humains et entreprises : approches juridiques plurielles à la résolution des conflits, au renforcement institutionnel et à la réforme juridique » a réuni 60 participants, dont d’éminents universitaires, des représentants des peuples autochtones et des membres d'ONG nationales et internationales de soutien. La déclaration inaugurale a été délivrée par le Rapporteur spécial des Nations Unies sur le droit à l’alimentation, Olivier de Schutter, et une présentation a été réalisée par Raja Devasish Roy, membre élu de l’Instance permanente des Nations Unies sur les questions autochtones (UNFPII) et chef traditionnel du cercle Chakma dans les Chittagong Hill Tracts au Bangladesh.

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.