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RSPO RT14 conference emphasises equality, human rights and smallholder inclusivity

The RSPO 13th General Assembly (GA13) and 14th Roundtable Meeting (RT14) highlighted the importance of collaboration in the shared effort to make sustainable palm oil the norm.

The three-day conference took place from the 8th - 10th of November in Bangkok, Thailand. The conference was attended by more than 800 representatives from 46 countries including leading figures of the palm oil industry, corporate leaders in sustainability, financial institutions, policymakers, academics, as well as social and environmental NGOs.

Conference highlights recent developments in sustainability

The RSPO has received broadening support from members, partners and governments in the last year and important landmarks were celebrated at RT14. After attending the United Nations conference on climate change, nine African nations pledged commitment to sustainable palm oil. Attendees also lauded the initiation of the Singapore Alliance on Sustainable Palm Oil.

Significant resolutions were approved at the RSPO’s GA13, which took place on the final day of the conference, including:

  • Resolution GA13-6b: Resolution to Adopt “Non-discriminatory Entitlement and Responsibility for RSPO members under a specific sector or membership category”. Implementation ensures that member groups across the seven sectors equally comply with and abide by the requirements established by the RSPO.
  • Resolution GA13-6d: Assuring Effectively Planned, Implemented and Monitored Compensation Projects in “Remediation and Compensation Procedure” of the RSPO. This resolution was passed to guarantee effective planning, implementation and monitoring of Remediation and Compensation Projects, demonstrating RSPO’s commitment to transparency and best practices.  
  • Resolution GA13-6e: Protecting Human Rights Defenders, Whistleblowers, Complainants and Community Spokesperson. On addressing social issues, the GA approved Resolution 6e. RSPO improves as a credible and accountable organisation in protecting human rights by providing support to complainants and community spokespersons.
  • Resolution GA13-6f: Resolution to Review and Amendment of the Updated NPP Process as Applied to Smallholders. This year’s RT14 emphasised inclusive partnerships. The GA approved Resolution 6f, which focuses on smallholders inclusivity in the sustainable palm oil supply chain. The resolution aims to review and amend the New Plantings Procedure (NPP) process for smallholders.

RSPO CEO calls for diligence and teamwork

Datuk Darrel Webber, CEO of the RSPO said “We must continue our work and make sure that the successes we have seen at this year’s RT14 support the RSPO to unite stakeholders, and facilitate the creation of national collaborations that can transform markets without leaving anyone behind.”

Highlights from the 14th Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil is available at storify.com/RSPOtweets/rt14  and speaker presentations are available here.