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ING withdraws from complaint against the bank’s involvement in the palm oil sector

The Dutch National Contact Point (NCP) for the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published the final statement on the complaint from Friends of the Earth groups and supporters against ING bank. The complaint was supposed to deal with adverse impacts of three of the bank’s palm oil clients, ranging from human rights and labour rights violations todeforestation. ING withdrew from the complaint, leaving the communities affected by the oil palm plantations empty handed.

Dutch companies (in)directly involved in human rights violations in the Global South

Every five years, the UN Human Rights Council assesses the human rights situation in a country. This year, the Netherlands will be assessed. IUCN NL, Milieudefensie and Stand Up For Your Rights submitted a joint report to draw attention to the human rights violations taking place in the value chain of Dutch businesses. We are asking for recommendations that will require Dutch businesses to investigate potential human rights violations and damage to nature in their (international) value chain.

Header photo: Fishermen in Waza National Park, Cameroon (c) Hans de Iongh

RSPO certificate for Socfin in Sierra Leone despite blatant land conflict

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified the Socfin subsidiary in Sierra Leone in January 2022, in spite of numerous land conflicts, violence against human rights defenders and grievances on pollution and other forms of environmental harm from affected communities. This certification is next in line of a number of highly controversial certifications of the SOCFIN group in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. RSPO is totally biased in favour of the industry and is not fit for purpose to guarantee sustainability and respect for human rights in palm oil supply chains.

Proposal EU Due Diligence Directive: ‘a missed opportunity’

Last week, the European Commission published a legislative proposal which obligates major companies to prevent human rights violations and environmental pollution in their supply chain. Companies that fail to do so can be held accountable. This is a positive development, but also a missed opportunity: the directive only reaches 1% of all European companies.

Header photo: European Union flag © Markus Spiske for Unsplash

Philippines’ biodiversity under increased risk as open-pit mining ban is lifted

Environmental and human rights defenders fear the worst, as the Philippines lifted the ban on open-pit mining that intended to protect the country’s unique biodiversity and to prevent the contamination of watersheds since 2017.

Header photo: Protestor holding sign calling to ban open-pit mining © ATM

After 15 years of fighting a palm oil giant, farmer Hemsi finally gets his land back

The land of Hemsi from Indonesia is brutally taken by a palm oil company in Indonesia. But he didn't give up and in 2021 he finally gets part of his land back. This took 15 years of unbelievable courage, perseverance and suffering.

How the Dutch financial sector contributes to deforestation

Dutch banks, insurers and pension funds give money to companies that trade in products with a high risk of deforestation. Think of palm oil and soy. It is billions of euros. For this purpose, often and a lot is deforested in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia.

Letter to the Government of Norway on Promoting Sustainable Investment in Agriculture Liberia

The organizations joint within the Liberian CSO-Oil Palm Working Group want to share their concerns and the need for urgent action to stop the ongoing deforestation and human rights violations in the Agri-Business sector in Liberia with the Government of Norway. And they request that the government of Norway addresses these issues directly with the Government of Liberia as part of Norway's engagement and commitment to protect the forests and promote the rights of Liberian communities.

Gathering on Extractives & Human Rights: views of mining-affected communities

Mining provides society with a range of essential materials, such as nickel, copper and cobalt. Yet the extractives sector causes large-scale loss of nature and biological diversity, and is linked to human rights violations. In October, over 300 individuals from civil society organisations and community groups from the Asia-Pacific region gathered to discuss a joint strategy for regional advocacy, especially in the light of impacts of COVID to current work on resisting destructive mining operations or threats.

Header image: © Erwin Mascarinas, NTFP-EP Philippines / IUCN NL