Parties: PT Buana Artha Sejahtera & Affected communities of Desa Biru Maju
Case received: 05 November 2012
Remark: Case Closed
Parties: PT Kresna Duta Agroindo & Affected communities of Desa Batu Ampar
Case received: 25 October 2012
Remarks: Case Closed
Parties: PT Tri Bakti Sarimas & Affected communities of Pucuk Rantau
Case received: 25 October 2012
Remarks: Case handled by Complaints Panel.
Parties: IOI-Pelita vs LTK Community, Sarawak
Case received: 17 March 2010
Remarks: The case forwarded to DSF on 18 July 2014
Brief background of case:
1. In 1996, oil palm concessions were granted to Rinwood-Pelita, a joint-venture company on an area that overlaps with customary lands belonging to the Berawan, Kayan, Kenyah peoples. IOI acquired the shares from Rinwood Oil Palm Plantation in 2006, and the name became IOI-Pelita Plantations Sdn Bhd.
2. The disputed area was originally inhabited by the Berawan, but sometime in the 1960’s, a group of Kayan came and settled at the same area.
3. After several negotiations with the Berawan, the Kayan finally settled in the Long Teran Kanan area (LTK). The land area was ceded to the present LTK community through customary (and later legally ratified) laws by the existing Berawan community.
4. In 1980’s, some Kenyah who have been long familiar & intermarried with the Kayan came and settled in LTK too. Even though the Kayan accepted the presence of the Kenyah into their community, the Kenyah were aware that they have been expanding lands belonging to the Berawan. The Berawan even attended an agreement ceremony held by the Kenyah which confirmed the agreement for the use of Berawan lands by the Kenyah. Further expansion of the Kenyah & Kayan cultivation into the Berawan land caused some consternations on the part of the Berawan. It was admitted by all parties that there are disagreements about how much land was ceded to the Kenyah & Kayan, and they also acknowledge that there are overlapping claims that they need to sort out.
5. In 1996 & 1997, the leases were granted to Pelita & Rinwood Sdn Bhd (whose shares were subsequently bought over by IOI) to develop lands within LTK for oil palm plantation. The development of the palm oil estates were apparently cleared and developed without consultations with the communities and no compensation paid for the communities’ loss of their lands and crops.
6. The affected villagers demanded that they be compensated by IOI for the loss of their lands and livelihood, with the eventual aim of returning the lands to the community.
7. After protests and demonstrations, lands and land clearing activities began, the community sought legal action as a final resort in 1997. The Judge ruled as follows:
a. that the community of LTK holds native customary rights (NCR) to the area in dispute
b. their rights to the land has not been extinguished
c. leases issued to the plantation company was null & void
d. company was trespassing and should pay damages & costs
e. court also ruled that the State has the right to issue leases and extinguish the NCR without according the community with the right to be heard
f. no injunction against the company because it has undertaken the development of the area, but for the company to pay compensation for damages to their land & crops, and for losses incurred since 1997 for being deprived use of their land.
8. In 1997 also, the Berawans were in discussions to be included the 1997 legal proceedings, but somehow chose not to be.
9. In 2004, the Berawans changed their views and decided to be named as a co-Plaintiff. But the LTK lawyers thought it impractical and the joint-suit did not happen.
10. The Berawan’s subsequent separately-filed legal suit was later withdrawn because their map was deemed inaccurate. A participatory mapping exercise has not been done. It remains unclear the extent of the overlap of the Berawan’s claims over LTK’s, and their own claim against the company.
11. In 2006, IOI acquired the shares from Rinwood and the company became known as IOI Pelita Plantations Sdn Bhd. (IOI holds 70% equity in the joint-venture company)
12. The community started to harvest palm oil fruits from the portion of land the Hugh Court rules as theirs. Allegation of workers being prevented to work on the land & thefts ensued, and police reports made. Company filed for an injunction prohibiting 7 named people from entering the land, and contempt of court proceedings were brought when fruit harvesting remained rampant.
13. IOI filed an appeal against the High Court decision. Up until 2011, the community said they were open to settlement on the condition that the Company withdrew its appeal to the Court of Appeal.
14. IOI did not withdraw its appeal, and in 2013, the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court’s decision.
15. Attempts at mediation have been ineffective so far.
16. The affected communities of Long Teran Kanan planned to meet in October to discuss whether they wish to resolve the dispute using RSPO DSF facilities.
17. If the answer is in the affirmative, an independent facilitator will be appointed to help with bringing the splintered communities together, assist with participatory mapping and negotiate with the IOI-Pelita in one voice.
18. A meeting between IOI, representative of Kayan community (Mr Malang Jok) and DSF was held in Kuala Lumpur on 19 November 2014 in which it was agreed that:
a. Mr Malang Jok will meet the different factions within the LTK community to appoint representatives in their negotiations with IOI-Pelita.
b. IOI-Pelita to list down the offers they wish to make to the community.
c. A meeting between parties to be held sometime in early 2015 to discuss settlement proposals.
19. The affected communities of Long Teran Kanan will be meeting sometime in October 2015 to discuss whether or not they wish to resolve the dispute using RSPO DSF facilities.
20.If the answer is in the affirmative, an independent facilitator will be appointed to help with bringing the splintered communities together, assist with participatory mapping and negotiate with the IOI-Pelita in one voice.
21. Parties are now waiting for a meeting date to be fixed by the Resident of Miri to discuss the offers and counter-offers
22. On 13 April 2015, it was suggested that parties meet without having to wait for the Resident. The representative would have to go back to his community to determine if this is acceptable.
23. 5th June 2015, IOI has informed RSPO Secretariat that there is an effort by the state government of Sarawak to resolve the issues.
24. The matter was conveyed to the community on 6 July 2015 and a reply was received from them on 8th July 2015, confirming that they agree to the government initiative.
25. LCDA has targeted the 4th week of October or 1st week of November 2015, subject to the availability of the Resident Office of Miri and the LTK community, to have the meetings for negotiation on this matter.
26. 9 Nov 2015 - Meeting held between the state government, IOI and the community an offer was made for compensation but the community have expressed their reservations about the offer.
27. Community has responded by NOT accepting the offer. The second mediation meeting was held on 1 December 2015. RSPO was invited to attend this second mediation meeting.
28. 1 December 2015 - RSPO and Dr. Ramy Bulan (independent observer) attended the meeting with the State government officials and Resident Officer in Miri.
29. 5 January 2016 – the report of Dr. Ramy was submitted. RSPO Secretariat to consult with DSF AG.
30. 5 January 2016 – The report by Dr. Ramy was submitted to RSPO. RSPO Secretariat to circulate the report and consult with DSF AG.
31. Mediation led by the Sarawak state government is on-going between bothparties. IOI arranged a Mediation Panel to facilitate the mediation.
32. 24 May 2016 – Resident of Miri called a meeting with the representatives of the seven LTK Longhouses to discuss the recently proposed offer to IOI Pelita.
33. 5 August 2016 – State Assisted Mediation between IOI Pelita and Long Teran Kanan & 6 other villages had been conducted. RSPO attended the meeting as an observer.
34. 19 August 2016 – Secretariat received a complaint note from the community of LTK-B on the mediation process.
35. 3 September 2016 – Secretariat received another note from the community of LTK-A. Secretariat has sent feedback to both group of the community and requested them to furnish the letter with details. A notification had been sent to IOI on the matter.
36. Secretariat to wait for the meeting report from IOI.
37. 5th August 2016 - Dialogue Session with the Natives to Resolve Land Issues at IOI Pelita held at Miri Resident Office
38. 1st December 2016 - IOI - TLK Settlement Agreement briefing meeting at Miri Resident Office
39. 20th December 2016 - Negotiation meeting between IOI-Pelita and communities
40. 17 January 2017 - DSF AG transfer the case back to the RSPO Complaints Panel
Parties: Wilmar International Ltd, PT Asiatic Persada
Case received: September 2011 (via Complaints Panel)
Remarks: Case closed.
Parties: Tanjung Bahagia Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of Genting Plantations Berhad) - Tongod community
Case received: 5 August 2013 (via Complaints Panel)
Brief background of case:
1. The disputed area amounting to 8,830ha which the Tongod community claims to own native customary rights over, was leased to 1997 (or thereabouts) to a plantation company known as Hap Seng Sdn Bhd, which went on to develop the land.
2. The lease and associated development were bought by Asia Development Berhad (ADB) as the property of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tg Bahagia Sdn Bhd. ADB was later renamed Genting Plantations Berhad which now retains overall responsibility for a plantation area of 8,830ha.
3. The community expressed their concerns on Genting Plantation’s overall commitment to the RSPO’s Code of Conduct especially on the certification time bound plan.
4. They contend that Genting Plantations’ subsidiary, Tanjung Bahagia Sdn Bhd, is in multiple violation of the RSPO’s Principles and Criteria, by failing to address the community’s concerns on land acquisition, pollution, conservation of HCV areas, open & transparent communication and consultation, and not having a dispute resolution mechanism to resolve the issues complained of.5. An attempt at settling the matter out of court commenced in May 2012, but it collapsed in June 2012, and the court case re-commenced.
6. Despite the existing court case, Complaints Panel has instructed the local communities and Tg Bahagia Sdn Bhd to explore the possibility of having the matter settled out of court, using DSF.
7. DSF met the community on 22 January 2015 where they were briefed on the meeting DSF attended the Defendants, a detailed explanation on DSF and mediation process.
8. Tongod community will meet with their lawyers on 9 February 2015 to discuss what terms of settlement they wish to discuss with Genting Plantations.
9. A letter was sent to the Defendants sometime in March 2015.
10. Latest communication with Tongod community was on 13 April, and they are still waiting for the Defendants (Hap Seng & Genting) to respond.
11. The complainants have been contacted on 16 July 2015 but no response has been received.
12. To wait for at least 6 months.
13. DSF to write to parties to ask if they wish to continue with the court proceedings, or wish to have the matter resolved in parallel with the DSF. If they are willing to commit to a parallel solution via the DSF, the lawyers must be willing also to share the relevant documents and information. 2. Based on the latest email communication in August 2015, the EIA, an advocate of the Tongod community, mentioned that they were still in process of considering whether or not they wish to be facilitated by DSF/RSPO in their dispute resolution process.
14. Status quo, as the community has not replied on their decision.
15.The dispute has been put into court trial. It is still ongoing, no court decision yet. However, no parties are able nor willing to inform about its detailed process and latest status.
16. DSF already tried to contact both parties to ask about the status and whether or not they still need DSF, but no response has been attained to date. DSF still waits for a response.
17. A reminder has been sent on 17 Feb 2016 to the community and the NGO asking them to state their stand on the RSPO DSF mediation efforts.
18. The community has responded saying that they do not want to proceed with mediation led by RSPO.
19. 22 March 2016 - The High Court of Kota Kinabalu issued a court order sealing the Settlement Agreement between parties that was agreed upon in early March 2016. http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/03/23/longest-ncr-case-settled/
20. RSPO Secretariat has informed DSF AG on the matter and recommends the case to be closed.
21. The DSF Advisory group members are in favour of closing except 2 members, who insist that Genting has not fulfilled its obligations under RSPO rules.
22. Secretariat recommends to the community and the complainant to proceed with bilateral negotiation.
23. 20 September 2016 – Discussion among DSF AG and the Complaints Panel on how to proceed the case is still on-going. Secretariat to follow up the update.
Parties: PT Mistra Austral Sejahtera (a subsidiary of Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd) – Kerunang/Entapang community
Case received: 12 March 2014 (via Oxfam Novib, on behalf of Kerunang/Entapang community)
Brief background of case:
The complaint was brought by communities in the hamlets of Kerunang & Entapang, Sanggau District, West Kalimantan, Indonesia who were supported by TuK (facilitator) & Oxfam (represented by Oxfam Novib (observer).
Conflict started in 1995 when PT MAS (originally PT PMS) acquired the land for oil palm plantation.
The main issues here involve allegations by the community against PT MAS on issues pertaining to:
Indigenous and land rights of the local community. There were alleged irregularities and uncertainties over the status of land released by the local community to PT MAS. Local communities thought it was only to be rented out to PT MAS through the payment of compensation known locally as “derasa”, for a restricted period of use as opposed to changing of ownership, when PT MAS’s understanding is that it was a voluntary relinquishment of land rights to it and eventually, at the end of the concession period (HGU), to the government.
Inclusion of local community’s plasma estate lands, customary lands and other public facilities in PT MAS’s concession area.
Plasma partnership arrangement between the local community and PT MAS. This was considered unfair and did not comply with the prevailing regulation and provision (Regional Regulation No3 of 2004 on Partnership Pattern) in particular the 70%: 30% (estate: plasma) ratio. Under this partnership, the community allegedly surrendered 7.5ha of their land, and PT MAS allegedly paid rent only on 5.5ha of the land to the community.
The plasma estates have allegedly been placed in other villages which in turn has led to horizontal conflicts, in addition to inconveniences to the plasma owners.
Claims of lack of transparency on credit and cooperatives. Through the credit scheme devised by PT MAS, the local community claim to be subsidising the Company’s oil palm business.
Contrary to claims of earlier promises by representatives of PT MAS, the non-building of infrastructure such as roads, hospital, schools, electricity distribution network, clean water and sports facilities.
Alleged intimidation & criminalisation by PT MAS staff.
The community had drafted a list of 14 demands which detailed out their claims. PT MAS and the local community agreed to the setting up of a working team in 2012 (TKPP) comprising local communities and the Company, to discuss the 14 demands. High level, on-going engagement have been carried out consistently since the RT10 which was held in Singapore. This was seen by the certification body as constituting mechanisms and platforms for resolving the dispute, and certification was recommended.
Sometime in October 2013, representatives from Kerunang & Entapang villages withdrew from TKPP on the alleged grounds that the TKPP was representatively improperly formed, there were different interpretations/understanding of the issues, and claiming that the facts of their case and the solutions therefore would be different from those of other communities represented within the TKPP. The Kerunang/Entapang community also claimed that this may cause horizontal conflict.
Whilst the Kerunang & Entapang community sought to have direct negotiations with the parent company Sime Darby, the Company continued discussions and bilateral negotiations with just one TKPP who the Company regards as representing the community as a whole and chose not to have another platform, perceiving it as rule & divide.
On 29 May 2014, DSF had a dialogue session with the Kerunang & Entapang community to understand their position and to explain the services DSF can offer.
In a letter dated 12 June 2014, the villagers of Kerunang & Entapang wrote to RSPO requesting among others, that DSF assist and facilitate the resolution of the dispute pertaining to partnership arrangement with PT MAS.
On 27 August 2014, a meeting was held in Entapang village comprising representatives from Sime Darby, Kerunang & Entapang villagers, TuK, WALHI, Oxfam & RSPO. At that meeting, the community presented their claims and points of view.
It was agreed that Sime Darby will look into their claims and it was also agreed that the parties will meet every 2 months towards the resolution of the dispute.
Further meeting was held between the disputing parties in the village on 12 December. Several bilateral meetings were also held between Sime Darby and TuK to discuss the appropriate way forward.
14 June 2016 – A meeting with the company was held in RSPO KL office. The follow up meeting will be arranged on 30 June 2016
30 June 2016 – Another meeting with the company in RSPO KL office. The case now depends on the government authority. RSPO to discuss this with DSF AG whether this case can be forwarded to the Complaints Panel since the community do not want to proceed with the case through mediation.
20 July 2016 - Secretariat had a meeting with Oxfam on 20 July 2016. A meeting with TuK will be arranged to follow up the results of the meeting.
25 August 2016 – A meeting with TuK was held in TuK office, Jakarta.
8 September 2016 - Meeting with Sime Darby in Kuala Lumpur conveying the result of meeting with TuK on 25 August 2016. Secretariat to arrange another meeting with TuK.
We will get back to you as soon as possible.