Oil Palm Expansion in South East Asia: Trends and implications for local communities and indigenous peoples
This publication is focused on oil palm expansion and land tenure in several Southeast Asian palm oil producing countries (the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia) and cross-compares their experiences with the facts and myths, stories and lessons learned from other palm oil producing countries, more specifically, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. Depending on the national legal frameworks and implementing regulations of the aforementioned Asian states, the expansion of the palm oil industry and the planned cultivation of new oil palm plantations have brought about unexpected consequences and will certainly transform land tenure systems and foster insecurities of subsistence livelihoods, conflicts and resentments, landlessness and evictions, re-arrangements of ownership, management, occupation, exploitation and utilisation of land, forest, water and other natural resources.
This book is the sixth in a series of reports published by the Forest Peoples Programme and SawitWatch, and other partners, about the social implications of oil palm expansion, and looks at specific trends and implications for local communities and indigenous peoples in Southeast Asia. Taken together, the case studies show how reforms to national land tenure laws and policies, coupled with strong enforcement, are vital if the palm oil sector is not to cause harms. In the meantime, going beyond the law is a must. Therefore, purely from the point of view of international norms and best practices, the palm oil industry is morally bound to observe and comply with local and national laws, human rights and labour norms and standards, a do-no harm policy, non-discriminatory principles, transparency, good governance, accountability and responsibility.