The amended Resolution Plan received the Complaints Panel's (CP) conditional endorsement at the end of June 2018. It was subsequently presented to all affected communities (11 at that time) during a 7-day long visit on 30 June – 6 July, 2018. The main purpose of this socialisation exercise was to explain the Resolution Plan and seek communities’ consent. Grassroots, Pelita and a Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) observer participated alongside IOI’s team in this socialization program. A non-binding consent from communities’ appointed leaders is a necessary prerequisite for the CP’s final endorsement of the Plan.
In early August 2018, the number of communities who were participating in the resolution process changed from 11 to 9, as three communities decided to merge. As of 1 October 2018, 6 out of 9 communities gave their consent. By November 2018, two more communities gave their consent. The last remaining community, Long Teran Batu, has been still seeking advice from their legal counsellor.
In preparation for the start of the Resolution Plan implementation, IOI and Grassroots have been regularly engaging local NGOs and State of Sarawak Government to ensure their continued support. On 18 January 2019, IOI reached an agreement with 2 local NGOs who formed Community’s Information and Communication Centre (CICOM) and will conduct Community Capacity Building exercise and Community Participatory Mapping, which are the main components of Phase I and Phase II of the Resolution Plan, respectively.
In early March 2019, IOI obtained the consent from the last community, Long Teran Batu. Thus, having secured consent from all nine affected communities, IOI and CICOM launched, in mid-March 2019, the community capacity building stage of the Resolution Plan. The purpose of this exercise is to do the following:
- Double check whether the communities have good understanding of
- RSPO Principles & Criteria in conflict resolution,
- Free, Prior, and Informed Consent process, and
- Resolution Plan itself;
- Assist the communities in setting up a decision-making mechanism in preparation for the subsequent stages of the Resolution Plan implementation;
- Provide affected communities with any needed advice and technical expertise;
- Gather community grievances together with any supporting documentation, which will form the basis for the planning of the Community Participatory Mapping that will be conducted under Phase II.