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Press Release

10 December 2015

 

Celebration of Human Rights Day and Project Launch:

Advancing Sustainable Business and Ancestral Land Recognition towards Peaceful Arbitration in Communal Territories

 

Jakarta – On International Human Rights Day 2015, ICCO Cooperation, with support of the European Union EIDHR Indonesia and the Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development, launches the program ‘Advancing Sustainable Business and Ancestral Land Recognition towards Peaceful Arbitration in Communal Territories’ (ASBALR-PACT) with the multi-sector event ‘Advancing Business Role on Human Rights’.

 

For many years, access to and control over land and natural resources is causing conflict between private companies and local indigenous communities in the Riau province, Sumatra. Since the 1980s, the Indonesian government has been re-allocating land for economic maximization, while not recognizing cultural land. Until this day, there is a communal conflict about the ownership, use, conservation and restoration of (ancestral) land and natural resources. These conflicts influence negatively the exertion of rights and livelihood possibilities of indigenous and forest dependent communities, and sustainable business operations of the private sector.

 

The ambitious program ASBALR-PACT aims to bridge the gap between communities and the private sector in addressing the root causes of the conflict by promoting a multi-sector approach for peaceful conflict resolution, and supporting the private sector to continue integrating human rights in its business operations. It addresses current global challenges: deforestation, carbon emissions, livelihood possibilities and food security, by focusing on business practices with respect for human rights.

 

The program emphasizes a multi-sector approach, out of the importance for communities, the private sector, government and NGOs to work together and strengthen each other towards conflict resolution and sustainable business.

 

Kees de Ruiter, regional manager ICCO Cooperation, states: “Companies can sustain themselves and become profitable but it must not be at the expense of people’s rights and livelihoods. The private sector should think of how their economic activities could impact positively the development of people and communities. That is the reason why we developed this program and initiated this multi-stakeholder gathering. While the program addresses the impact of business practices, we also work with the local communities, to equip them with the knowledge and capabilities to defend their rights, and we support the government to keep moving forward in closing the gap between normative rules and actual practices in relation to land use management and human rights protection. Private sector, government, NGOs and communities share the common responsibility for sustainable relations and our current and future environment.”

 

Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, the President of IBCSD on her opening remarks said “There is growing recognition of the significant effect the activities of the private sector have—on employees, customers, communities, the environment, competitors, business partners, investors, shareholders, governments

 

and others”. Further she added that now we see a growing number of companies putting human rights and sustainability agenda within their corporate actions. IBCSD, as a CEO led association of companies whos share commitment in promoting sustainable development, today shows its support on ICCO’s project on conflict resolution.

 

The project which is already at its second trimester is formally launched today (December 10th, 2015) on Human Rights Day with a Celebration on ‘Advancing Business Role in Human Rights’.The Launch and Celebration will be graced by Kees de Ruiter of ICCO Cooperation, Shinta Widjaja Kamdani of the Indonesia Business Council for Sustainability and Development (IBCSD), Agung Wiyono of CSE, Nur Kholis of the Komisi National HAM, and Dr. Mualimin Abdi of the Direktorat Jendral Hak Asasi Manusia. Keynote speaker will be the EU Head of Cooperation Indonesia Frank Viault.

 

Topics for discussion will be social impact assessment for the private sector, human rights cases and proposed resolutions, Indonesian proposed policy for Business and human rights and a good case for a positive social impact from the private sector.

 

Apart from the discussions, awards will be given to the winners of a photo contest depicting best practices of the private sector, and video competition for young filmmakers on Business and Human Rights. 

 

Reference:

ICCO Cooperation Program Coordinator Indonesia

Kiswara Santi

E: Kiswara.Santi@icco-cooperation.org

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