Smallholder inclusion and human rights key topics on the RSPO’s 14th Roundtable

Posted on: November 14, 2016

The RT highlighted the need for more attention on human rights and labour issues in the palm oil industry and better involvement of smallholder farmers in the principles and criteria of the RSPO. The 13th General Assembly of the RSPO approved a resolution that focuses on more inclusion of smallholders in the sustainable palm oil supply chain.

The three day conference on sustainable palm oil brought together more than 800 representatives of the palm oil industry, corporate leaders in sustainability, financial institutions, policymakers and academics as well as social and environmental NGOs.

Important announcements made at the RT included the initiation earlier this year of the Singapore Alliance on Sustainable Palm oil and the news that 9 African Nations will pledge their commitment to sustainable palm oil. An agreement between the methods for determining High Carbon Stock (HCS) (the HCS approach and HCS+) areas was also announced. Other topics discussed included green house gas emissions to which an increasing number of companies are now engaged to monitor.  A representative of the Dutch embassy in Indonesia also elaborated on the ‘Amsterdam declaration’ that is signed by 6 European governments to support the commitments made by several industry alliances in Europe.

At the 13the GA the following significant resolutions were approved:

  • Resolution GA13-6b: Resolution to Adopt “Non-discriminatory Entitlement and Responsibility for RSPO members under a specific sector or membership category”. The adoption further ensures that member groups across the seven sectors equally comply with and abide by the requirements established by the RSPO.
  • Resolution GA13-6d: Assuring Effectively Planned, Implemented and Monitored Compensation Projects in “Remediation and Compensation Procedure” of the RSPO. This resolution was passed to ensure effective planning, implementation and monitoring of Remediation and Compensation Projects, demonstrating RSPO’s commitment to transparency and best practices.
  • Resolution GA13-6e: Protecting Human Rights Defenders, Whistleblowers, Complainants and Community Spokesperson. On addressing social issues, the GA has approved Resolution 6e, RSPO improves as a credible and accountable organisation in protecting human rights by providing support to complainants and community spokespersons.
  • Resolution GA13-6f: Resolution to Review and Amendment of the Updated NPP Process as Applied to Smallholders. While this year’s RT14 emphasised on inclusive partnerships, the GA has also approved Resolution 6f, which focused on smallholders inclusivity in the sustainable palm oil supply chain. The resolution aims to review and amend the New Plantings Procedure (NPP) process for smallholders.

Source: mvo