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Sustainable palm oil: Marketing ploy or true commitment? New research examines RSPO standards
Date:11/3/2013

mpany Herakles Farms, actually withdrew its membership of the RSPO in September 2012 in reaction to a formal complaint lodged against it and widespread criticism of its project. In PT Permata Hijau Pasaman I, conflict between the company and local communities has led to various arrests and an on-going court case at the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia.

The studies also show that existing conflict resolution mechanisms, including those of the RSPO, have yet to produce tangible results for local communities. Both the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (IFC CAO) and RSPO conflict resolution processes, despite having established some important precedents, lack both the mandate and the capacity to remedy the huge number of disputes between companies and communities.

Lack of company goodwill and transparency further hinder the effectiveness of the IFC CAO mechanism. In PT Asiatic Persada (PT AP) in Jambi, for instance, the company bulldozed the dwellings of community objectors into nearby creeks. IFC CAO mediation was initiated in 2012 but has come to a standstill due to the sale of PT AP by Wilmar without any due consultation with community members engaged in the mediation process. Wilmar effectively washed its hands of the concession and the problems it created.

"The RSPO only works if the commitments its members make are genuine," concluded Marcus Colchester of Forest Peoples Programme. "RSPO certification was not meant to be a marketing ploy. It was meant to represent a wholehearted dedication to respecting the lives and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities, and the lands that they call home. As an RSPO member, we are calling on the RSPO as a whole to reassert this commitment and live up to it."


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Contact: Dan Klotz
dklotz@burnesscommunications.com
301-280-5756
Burness Communications

Gemma Humphrys
gemma@forestpeoples.org
44-1608-652893
Forest Peoples Programme
Source:Eurekalert


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