IOI Pelita Current Progress

Resolution Plan endorsement by the Complaints Panel

IOI’s Resolution Plan received Complaints Panel's (CP) conditional endorsement at the end of June 2018. The Resolution Plan consists of three stages:

1) Community Capacity Building,
2) Community Participatory Mapping, and
3) Negotiations for Final Dispute Settlement.

Resolution Plan socialization

The Resolution Plan was subsequently presented to all affected communities during a 7-day long visit on 30 June – 6 July, 2018. The main purpose of the socialisation exercise was to explain the Resolution Plan and seek communities’ consent. Grassroots, Pelita and an RSPO observer participated alongside IOI’s team in the socialization program.

Obtaining free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for Resolution Plan implementation

As of 1 October 2018, 6 out of 9 communities gave their consent. By November 2018, two more communities did so. However, the last remaining community, Long Teran Batu, gave their consent only in March 2019. Having secured the consent from all affected communities, IOI started the implementation of the Resolution Plan.

Regular engagement with other key stakeholders

From the very beginning IOI and Pelita have been regularly engaging other key stakeholders such as the Sarawak State Government and local NGOs to ensure their support for the resolution process. The Complaints Panel of the RSPO has been regularly updated and consulted.

Stage 1: Community Capacity Building

On 18 January 2019, IOI retained the services of the Community’s Information and Communication Centre (CICOM), a local NGO, to conduct Community Capacity Building program, which is the main component of Stage I of the Resolution Plan.

In February 2019, IOI and CICOM launched the Community Capacity Building program, the purpose of which was to do the following:

• Double check whether the communities have good understanding of a) RSPO Principles & Criteria on conflict resolution, b) Free, Prior and Informed Consent process, and c) Resolution Plan itself;
• Provide affected communities with any needed advice and technical expertise;
• Gather community grievances, on the basis of which the Community Participatory Mapping would be designed.

CICOM completed the Capacity Building Program at the end of June 2019.

Stage 2: Community Participatory Mapping

Equipped with the insights gained in the course of the Community Capacity Building, CICOM started the Community Participatory Mapping in August 2019. The purpose of this important task is to identify, map out and validate communities’ land claims and other grievances. All affected communities have an opportunity to be included in this exercise and have their land surveyed.

The outcome of this stage will be of critical importance for the success of the subsequent and the last stage of the resolution process: Negotiations for the Final Settlement.

Over the last several months, the Community Participatory Mapping has proven more challenging than expected. CICOM put a great deal of effort into making sure the affected communities understand the community mapping process and are ready to actively participate in it. Any community boundary mapping can raise communities’ concerns and cause tension. Therefore, CICOM had to address this challenge before the land survey (mapping) could start. Then the rainy season made the area inaccessible for a while. In a few cases, there were some community factions that initially did not want to participate. Further delays were caused by festive seasons (Christmas and Chinese New Year), unavailability of some community leaders due to illness, and difficulty in finding a convenient time for the community members to participate in training sessions and the land survey itself. Finally, CICOM experienced a severe shortage of its own surveyors to assist community members in the mapping exercise. As a result, the Community Participatory Mapping has been significantly delayed.

By mid-March 2020, six out of nine affected communities had their surveys done. Unfortunately, at that point, the coronavirus outbreak reached Sarawak and the government issued Movement Control Order. The Community Participatory Mapping had to be put on hold.

On 12 June 2020, CICOM resumed the Community Participatory Mapping process.

Two of the remaining three communities yet to be mapped, Long Jegan and Long Teran Batu, had some reservations about their participation in the Community Participatory Mapping. To address their concerns, a team consisting of the State of Sarawak’s Ministry of Modernization of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development (MANRED), Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA), District Office of Beluru, and IOI visited the two communities on July 20-21. As a result, Long Jegan and Long Teran Batu decided to participate in the mapping exercise. The mapping of these two villages was completed on 29 July 2020.

On 21 July 2020, the Penans of Long Lapok, which is another local community living outside the Provisional Lease area, submitted to IOI a request to include them in the Resolution Process. CICOM will, therefore, include this community in the mapping exercise to understand their land claims better. This will inevitably delay further the completion of the Community Participatory Mapping.

Once the mapping itself is completed, CICOM will still need to undertake the task of map verification and validation by each community as well as assist each community in preparation of the final list of grievances, or so called ‘dossier’. Therefore, it is expected that Stage 2 will be completed by the end of September/early October 2020.

Community Participatory Mapping Socialization Session in Long Teran Batu 

updated as of 6 August 2020