Golden Agri–Resources Limited (GAR) and its subsidiaries including PT SMART Tbk (SMART) announced today that they have launched a Social and Community Engagement Policy (SCEP) to ensure that their palm oil operations improve the lives of the communities they impact.
The SCEP builds on GAR’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) to ensure a holistic approach towards GAR’s sustainability commitments and will guide and shape GAR’s decisions in engaging with communities. Core to the SCEP is a commitment to ensure:
- Free, Prior and Informed Consent of indigenous people and local communities
- Responsible handling of complaints
- Responsible resolution of conflicts
- Open and constructive engagement with local, national and international stakeholders
- Empowering community development programmes
- Respecting human rights
- Recognising, respecting and strengthening the rights of its workers; and
- Compliance with all relevant laws and internationally accepted certification principles and criteria GAR has committed to taking a multi-stakeholder approach toward developing and implementing the SCEPP. The Company has engaged NGOs like The Forest Trust (TFT) and other stakeholders to provide inputs to the policy. The SCEP involved consultations with the Government of Indonesia and local stakeholders, like Yayasan Dian Desa, which were facilitated by Indonesian NGO, LINKS.
“GAR is a significant player in the palm oil industry and will continue to play our part in improving the way we engage the communities we impact. We will promote the SCEP across the palm oil industry and hope for stakeholders to come onboard to further strengthen this policy,” said Mr Daud Dharsono, President Director of SMART.
SMART also recently announced that it has received its first RSPO certification for some of its operations in North Sumatra. This is part of the plans by GAR to certify its palm oil operations as at 30 June 2010 by end 2015. GAR is also in the process of developing its Yield Improvement Policy through a multi-stakeholder approach.