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Community / Land projects / Scaling Up Sustainable Palm Oil (SUSPO)

Scaling Up Sustainable Palm Oil (SUSPO)


01/16 - 01/16


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The SUSPO programme aims to ensure the recognition and protection of land rights of communities in palm oil producing countries, notably in Indonesia, by governments, and to ensure the respect of land rights by palm oil companies, resulting in access to decision making regarding their land ownership and use rights. Over the years the expansion of palm oil plantations in Indonesia has gone hand in hand with land grabbing from local (indigenous) communities resulting in over 3,500 conflicts of which the majority remains without remedy. The loss of land has lead to both economic and social problems for (indigenous) communities leading to decreased food security, lower income and social destabilisation. Women#s land rights are hardly taken into account. Labourers on the palm oil plantations work under poor labour conditions, often severely marginalising their socio-economic position. Oil palm plantation workers experience that their rights to organise are hindered by companies, they face poor safety and health conditions especially for women, low payments (below minimum wage) and inequality of payments between men and women. The approach is to link project activities at country level ( communities, districts and national level) to activities at global level at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and vice versa. A coherent set of project components have been formulated: empowering communities affected by palm oil plantations in securing their land rights, sustainable land use planning (multi-stakeholder community mapping), strengthening the position of oil palm smallholders, land rights policy reform at national level through lobby and advocacy, setting the agenda for decent work in the palm oil sector, strengthening the social agenda of the RSPO through leading the Human Rights working group (promoting land rights, labour rights, Free, Prior and Informed Consent), through improving social auditing mechanisms, through improving dispute settlement mechanisms and monitoring the sustainabilityof the solutions provided. The project components are currently being implemented in Indonesia and at the global level of the RSPO. Indonesian partners are the Oxfam country office, TuK Indonesia (#Transformation for Justice#), LBH Medan (Legal aid organisation) and JKPP (#Participatory Mapping Network#). Allies to our work at the RSPO include Forest Peoples Programme and Both enDS. Scaling up of the Oxfam sustainable palm oil work is being considered in DRC, Nigeria and Burma. The RSPO work is currently being done by highly experienced Oxfam Novib policy advisers based in the Hague. Current donor agencies of the SUSPO programme are: Ford Foundation (land rights, labour rights, RSPO) and the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs (sustainable land use planning). Also Oxfam Novib invests with its own funding sources in the programme. Other donors were: Foreign and Common Wealth Office (FCO), Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Ford Foundation.

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