Borneo human rights organization files complaint alleging multiple breaches of RSPO standards by palm oil supplier PT. Swadaya Mukti Prakarsa (SMP) / First Resources.
By Philip Jacobson / Mongabay.com
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has prohibited Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), one of its most prominent members, from "acquiring or developing any new areas" pending the resolution of a formal complaint against the palm oil giant in Indonesia's West Kalimantan province.
The decision by the RSPO, the world's largest voluntary certification scheme for palm oil, is a stern directive from an organization that has been criticized for failing to take action against companies that flout its standards.
Palm oil conglomerate ordered to halt expansion of operations following multiple violations of RSPO standards.
7th May, 2015: The RSPO’s Complaints Panel has upheld the Forest Peoples Programme in its complaint against Golden Agri Resources, which was seeking to expand 18 of its operations in Kalimantan. After concluding that it has ‘reasonable grounds’ to conclude that the company is in violation of several RSPO norms, the latest ‘determination’ by the Panel notes:
With 57 nations already on board the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as prospective founders, a 250-member strong civil society network made an appeal to the newly-formed bank to adopt robust safeguards in its principles, policies and operations.
A comprehensive investigation into the oil palm industry in West Papua, published by awasMIFEE and Pusaka, together with local Papuan organisations Belantara Papua, Bin Madag Hom, Jasoil, SKP KAME and Jerat Papua, and Sawit Watch.
Available for download: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=1205
By Coalition against Land Grabbing and United Tribes of Palawan
From outsiders to political representatives, the indigenous struggle in the Mentawai islands is a 20 year struggle to be heard. We learn through the eyes of Gugen, a future Indigenous leader, as he meets the villagers, shamens, newspaper & radio stations that unify these threatened islands.
Golden Agri-Resources, which owns Indonesia’s largest palm oil conglomerate operating under the brand name Sinar Mas, is still in violation of RSPO standards, according to Forest Peoples Programme.
'From our Ancestors' is a very powerful and moving story about the Pandumaan and Sipituhuta community in North Sumatra, Indonesia. They are fighting to stop the growth of pulp plantations owned by PT Toba Pulp Lestari. Previously formerly affiliated with pulp and paper giant, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) and its parent Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), and is still controlled by notorious Indonesian business tycoon Sukanto Tanoto through holding companies.
Palm oil conglomerate criticised for multiple violation of RSPO’s requirements that lands only be acquired from indigenous peoples and local communities with their free, prior and informed consent.
In the afternoon of Friday 27th February seven security personnel contracted to guard one of Asia Pulp and Paper’s Acacia plantations in the district of Tebo, Jambi Province on the island of Sumatra, beat, then abducted and killed an activist from a local farmers’ union. According to preliminary reports, the altercation occurred when the guards tried to prevent Mr Indra Pelani from entering the plantation.
Update from ALDAW:
The CSO letter to the EU has now been fully finalised, with 197 signatories, of which 18 are from the Philippines and amongst these 4 are from Palawan-based organisations and federations.
The final version of the letter here. There is a link to the letter and short article on FoEE's website http://www.foeeurope.org
On 4 – 6 November, National Human Rights Commissions and civil society organisations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Lao PDR and Myanmar, congregated in Yangon for the Fourth Regional Conference on Human Rights and Agribusiness in Southeast Asia. This year it was hosted by the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, co-organised by Forest Peoples Programme and RECOFTC – The Centre for People and Forests, and supported by the Rights and Resources Initiative, Ford Foundation, the Climate and Land Use Alliance, and the UK Department for International Development.
Field interviews with 17 affected Indonesian communities reveal policy implementation problems while hundreds of unresolved land conflicts endure.
In an article published in the Jakarta Post, senior officials of the Indonesian REDD+ Agency (the government body charged with reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) argue that recognising the collective land rights of forest peoples is key to curbing climate change and promoting sustainable use of natural resources.
Communities seeking redress for their lands, grabbed for pulpwood plantations in Sumatra, are let down by resolution process, reveals new report.
Indonesia’s new president sets himself a major challenge to clean-up bribery and corruption in the forestry industry.
By Patrick Anderson
In late November, after a month in his new job, Indonesia’s president Joko Widido (Jokowi), travelled to Riau Province, Sumatra, to see for himself the forest destruction that causes smoke and haze to blanket Sumatra, Malaysia and Singapore.
The global forest crisis is worsening and infringements of the rights of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities are rising, according to a detailed assessment of nine country cases. Climate change mitigation and conservation policies must place community land rights and human rights centre-stage if they are to achieve the goal of sustainably reducing deforestation says the report.
Deforestation and forest degradation in Malaysia is a complex phenomenon with varying causes. So far, however, the focus has been largely on direct causes like industrial logging, large-scale commercial oil palm plantations and agribusiness, road construction and large dams. Far less attention has been paid to the indirect or underlying causes and agents, inter-linking and working to enrich the very few while creating hardships for many people as a result of degraded or diminished resources.
Indonesia is losing its forests faster than ever. Government efforts to halt the hand out of industrial permits for logging and plantations are failing. Despite its promises to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, the country is experiencing a run-away process of forest clearance for oil palm estates and pulpwood plantations.