RSPO Aware of Complaint Kalimantan Villagers Filed Against It at OECD

BY : DAMES ALEXANDER SINAGA

JANUARY 27, 2018

Jakarta. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil said it is aware of the complaint an Indonesian community rights group filed against it at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Switzerland.

"This information came to our attention through media reports, and we have yet to hear directly from the complainants, or the OECD," RSPO country director Tiur Rumondang said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Friday (26/01).

Rights group Transformation for Justice (TuK Indonesia), along with the indigenous Dayak community in the villages of Kerunang and Entapang in West Kalimantan, filed a complaint against the RSPO at the OECD on Wednesday for having failed to address accusations by residents who claim that a subsidiary of Malaysian palm oil giant Sime Darby had stolen their land.

Norman Jiwan, a consultant at TuK Indonesia, said the RSPO has also failed to meet its obligations under the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises.

"The complaint against the RSPO is submitted through the OECD's national contact point in Switzerland, where the RSPO is legally constituted," Norman said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Tiur meanwhile said the RSPO acknowledges the concerns raised by the Dayak community pertaining to the ongoing dispute between themselves and RSPO member Mitra Austral Sejahtera (MAS) – a subsidiary of Sime Darby.

She said the dispute has been complex and protracted, as the communities submitted the case to the RSPO in October 2012.

The case was sent for mediation in 2016, but the issues could not be resolved, Tiur added.

Last year, the community asked for the case to be transferred to the RSPO's complaints panel.

"Since then, the complaints panel has been managing the case and seeking a possible resolution to the complaint. So as not to undermine the deliberation and decision of the complaints panel, we are not able to share additional information on the ongoing investigation," Tiur said.

"The RSPO remains committed to transparency and accountability of which an independent complaints panel, consisting of eminent individuals representing a diverse range of stakeholders, is firmly part of this objective process," she added.

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