Activists from Indonesia, Liberia, Colombia and Peru have given first-hand testimony that RSPO is failing to stop human rights abuses

A delegation of indigenous people from Indonesia, Liberia, Colombia and Peru did a tour of European capitals last month to give policymakers and investors first-hand testimony of what they said were escalating human rights and environmental abuses linked to the rapid spread of palm oil cultivation.

The delegation, which visited the Netherlands, Germany, Brussels and London during the 10-day tour, said that members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) frequently flout the voluntary group’s requirement to respect community land rights, and are involved in human rights abuses and destructive plantation development.

At a press conference in London, Tom Griffiths of UK NGO Forest Peoples Programme, which sponsored the tour, said while the RSPO is beginning to crack down on malpractice by its members, it has a long way to go before all RSPO members’ palm oil is conflict-free. “The key message of the mission is that these operations should be suspended until land rights are secured and proper protections are in place,” he said.

Rapid growth

Griffiths pointed out that while Indonesia is still the leading palm oil producer (with about 9m hectares of plantations), production is surging elsewhere. Colombia, the fourth biggest palm oil supplier, is set...

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Palm Oil  Indigenous People  Human rights  environmental abuse  RSPO  NGO  protesting  deforestation  water pollution 

The Sustainable Supply Chain Summit 2016

October 2016, London

Over 150 leading supply chain, sustainability and sourcing professionals will meet to share insights and practical tips to address key issues such as; human rights, environmental management, lifecycle assessments, supplier partnerships and more

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