IMPACT : Enhancing The Capacity Building of Civil Society in Advocacy of Palm Oil Plantation Cases

ELSAM, Bogor- Advocacy agenda of palm oil plantation cases becomes important since Indonesia is the global leader of palm oil plantations that negatively impacts both the environment and human rights. In order to encourage protection of human rights, Institute of Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) has held 3 series of IMPACT (Indonesian Movement for Plantation and Human Rights Transformation Training) on 20-24 February 2017, 3-7 April 2017 and 17-21 July 2017 in Bogor, West Java. The training was targeting at human rights and civil society activists who have been actively advocated the cases related to palm oil plantation.

In this training, the participants were introduced principles and basic concepts of human rights, instruments of business and human rights, national and international human rights mechanism, state and non-state-based conflict resolution. The participants were reminded that state and corporation should anticipate and prevent adverse human rights impacts of the development of palm oil plantations, including remedy. This is aimed to encourage real implementation of UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights/UNGP that mandates the state and corporations to meet their responsibilities in promoting and respecting human rights. In order to enrich advocacy strategy of the cases related to palm oil plantation, the participants were introduced non-state grievance mechanism such as OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), World Bank and IFC (International Finance Corporation) and ISPO (Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil).

“In this training, the participants were given understanding new non-litigate mechanisms specifically international grievance mechanism. Even though we come from different regions, we fight the same issue. The involvement of RSPO also enables the corporations to be involved to share the understanding of respecting human rights”, said Taslim, one of IMPACT participants from Palembang Legal Aid Institute.

Adelien Cherly Mengko from Association of Empowerment and Resource Development Units (LP2S) North Sulawesi also said the same thing. Adelien hopes that there will be advanced training. “I hope there will be advanced training to strengthen civil society organizations network in order to support assisted society in facing the problems”, said Adelien.

The training was attended by 60 participants from civil society organizations that come from Aceh, North Sumatera, West Sumatera, Jambi, Bengkulu, Riau, South Sumatera, Bandar Lampung, Jakarta, Banten, East Java, East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, Papua and West Papua.

The training is expected to enhance the capacity building of civil society in defense and advocacy of the rights of communities affected by the development of palm oil plantations. The training is also expected to help activists to have an understanding of human rights and the mechanism at the international, regional and national levels so as to better understand the mechanism of human rights that can be taken in facilitating people in accessing justice including using RSPO mechanism.

“After attending IMPACT training, the participants can try using non-state mechanism besides state mechanism as alternative for conducting defense and managing conflict including remedy for victims of agro industrial operations,” said Wahyu Wagiman, Executive Director ELSAM at the end of training that was held on 21 July 2017 in Bogor.

Writer : Antalasi Febrisa

Editor : Lintang Setianti