Joint statement by participants assembled at the ‘’Conflict or Consent workshop’’

Photo of Conflict or Consent Workshop by TuK INDONESIA

Photo of Conflict or Consent Workshop by TuK INDONESIA

Medan, 8-10th November 2013.

At the occasion of the Workshop Conflict or Consent, held prior to RSPO RT11, the participants brought together 16 case studies from two continents, bearing witness to serious land conflicts and associated human rights violations caused by irresponsible oil palm plantation development.1

We observe some advances in procedures and improvements in the Principles and Criteria, and strong efforts by some members and other parties to push for remedies. However, the participants observed that by and large many of the companies implicated in these violations are RSPO members. These realities underline the enormous challenge RSPO, its membership and the market are facing to ensure compliance with basic requirements enshrined in the RSPO Principles and Criteria, such as adherence to fundamental human rights, national laws and international social and environmental conventions.

It is reason for concern that the European/Dutch/French/British/German/Belgian.. policy and market arena is still unable to fully grasp the serious social implications of trading and using this strategic commodity. It is also to argue that RSPO evolved due to governments failing to regulate the palm oil sector and prevent the serious abuses recorded in the said cases studies and many other field assessments.

It is also to emphasize that participants endorsing this appeal are all intensively involved in the palm oil and RSPO arena, working to develop means to help mitigate and resolve these problems. Some of us have been mandated to engage in the various executive and governing bodies of RSPO

Appreciative of the commitments made by the … Task Force to reach its targets of certified palm oil, we request you to review our report and formulate actions which help ensure that all palm oil entering the market is indeed ‘’free of conflict’’.

We invite you to join us in our efforts to up-hold the RSPO standard and its implementation, notably by harnessing its remedial instruments such as its complaints mechanism and the RSPO Dispute Settlement Facility, and to urge our governments to improve the legal-institutional framework guiding the palm oil sector. We request you to verify for yourselves in the field, in consultation with the communities, the conditions under which palm oil is being produced and help co-design further measures to bring the RSPO standard into practice. We stand ready to dialogue with all parties and do what we can to help resolve these problems.

Sincerely yours,

  1. Andalas University, Padang, Sumatra
  2. Badan Perjuangan Rakyat Penunggu Indonesia (BPRPI), Indonesia
  3. Bitra Indonesia, North Sumatra
  4. Both ENDS, Netherlands
  5. Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD), France

  6. École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France

  7. ELSAKA, North Sumatra
  8. Forest Peoples Programme, United Kingdom
  9. Front Mahasiswa Nasionalis Medan, North Sumatra
  10. Gabungan Serikat Buruh Indonesia, North Sumatra
  11. HuMa, Indonesia
  12. HUTAN, Malaysia
  13. Hutan Rakyat Institute (HARI), North Sumatra
  14. IDEAL, Malaysia
  15. Impartial Mediators Network, Indonesia
  16. Indigenous Peoples’ Foundation for Education and Environment, Thailand
  17. Indonesia Peoples’ Alliance, North Sumatra
  18. Jaringan Kerja Pemetaan Partisipatif (JKPP), Indonesia
  19. Jaringan seOrang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
  20. Keystone Foundation, India
  21. Komunitas Peduli Hutan Sumatra Utara (KPHSU), Indonesia
  22. Lembaga Gemawan, West Kalimantan, Indonesia
  23. Natural Justice, South Africa
  24. Oxfam Novib, The Netherlands
  25. PUSAKA Indonesia, Indonesia
  26. PUSAKA, Indonesia
  27. Qbar Association, Padang, Indonesia
  28. Rainforest Action Network (RAN), United States
  29. Sawit Watch, Indonesia
  30. SCALE UP, Indonesia
  31. Setara Jambi, Indonesia
  32. Socio-Pastoral Institute, Cameroon
  33. StaB-LB, North Sumatra, Indonesia
  34. Transformasi Untuk Keadilan Indonesia (TuK INDONESIA)
  35. Wahana Bumi Hijau (WBH), Indonesia
  36. Walhi Kalbar, Indonesia
  37. Walhi Kalteng, Indonesia
  38. Walhi Riau, Indonesia
  39. Walhi SumSel, Indonesia
  40. Walhi Sumut, Indonesia
  41. Warsi, Jambi, Indonesia
  42. Yayasan Konservasi Way Seputih (YKWS), Indonesia

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