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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.

9th RRI Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change, London, February 2011

The 9th RRI Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change, co-organized with Forest Peoples Programme, Tebtebba and Forest Trends, took place in London, UK on 8 February 2011. The Dialogue drew together a number of key actors involved in REDD, including representatives from Indigenous Peoples organizations, governments of UK Mexico and Norway, the banking sector, NGOs and researchers.

The consensus emerging from the discussion was that REDD should not proceed before clear safeguards are put in place. Gregory Barker, British minister of State, Department for Energy and Climate Change outlined that before REDD projects take place, it is crucial to assess drivers of deforestation, secure clarity of land tenure and ensure equitable benefit-sharing for Indigenous Peoples. To that end, he assured that the UK government will apply safeguards in bilateral REDD agreements with Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Despite this commitment he avoided mentioning whether the UK would push for stronger safeguards in the readiness processes of the World Bank’s FCPF initiative.

El IX Diálogo sobre los Bosques, la Gobernanza y el Cambio Climático de la RRI, Londres, febrero 2011

El 8 de febrero de 2011 se celebró en Londres, Reino Unido, el IX Diálogo sobre los Bosques, la Gobernanza y el Cambio Climático de la RRI, organizado conjuntamente con el Forest Peoples Programme, Tebtebba y Forest Trends. El Diálogo reunió personas clave  de la REDD, entre ellas representantes de organizaciones de los pueblos indígenas, de los Gobiernos del Reino Unido, México y Noruega, del sector bancario, de ONG y de instituciones de investigación.

El consenso que surgió del debate fue que la REDD no debería proseguir mientras no se apliquen salvaguardias claras. Gregory Barker, viceministro británico, Departamento de Energía y Cambio Climático, indicó que antes de poner en práctica proyectos de REDD es crucial evaluar los impulsores de la deforestación, obtener  la claridad de la tenencia de la tierra y asegurar la participación equitativa de los pueblos indígenas en los beneficios obtenidos. Con ese fin, aseguró que el Gobierno del Reino Unido aplicará salvaguardias en acuerdos de REDD bilaterales con pueblos indígenas y comunidades locales. A pesar de este compromiso, evitó mencionar si el Reino Unido ejercería presión para que se apliquen salvaguardias más estrictas en los procesos de preparación del FCPF del Banco Mundial.