Virtual dialogue between Kaoem Telapak and three Accredited assistants to Members of the European Union Parliament on Monday 20 June 2022, revealed the wishes of indigenous peoples.
They hoped that the implementation of EUDDR would contribute positively to the enforcement and recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights in Indonesia. However, no concrete scheme clause in EUDDR’s proposal mentions this issue.
EUDDR stands for the Europe Union Due Diligence Regulation. It is a policy draft that aims to reduce deforestation and environmental degradation. This regulation will monitor the circulation of six commodities, namely coffee, soybeans, beef, cocoa, timber, and palm oil so that they do not originate from deforestation and environmental degradation activities.
“As you may know, in Indonesia, indigenous peoples have been trying to submit a draft law on Indigenous Peoples’ rights since 2013, but so far, there has been no significant progress,” said Andre Barahamin, Senior Campaigner for Kaoem Telapak.
Furthermore, Andre said there would be a gap if the EUDDR would implement without accommodating the fulfilment of the rights of indigenous peoples. Andre believes that there will be different standards regarding compliance with the legality of timber and other commodities regulated by the EUDDR.
“Therefore, indigenous peoples hope that the implementation of the EUDDR can influence policy changes, which become more fair and equal regarding the rights of indigenous peoples,” Andre said.
Mardi Minangsari, President of Kaoem Telapak, added that the absence of legal guarantees in the EUDDR led to a problematic situation, considering that oil palm estates are often a source of land conflicts in Indonesia, especially conflicts with indigenous peoples.
“Therefore, civil society groups in Indonesia ask the European Union to consider the usage of other instruments related to human rights as well as indigenous peoples, as indicators of assessing compliance with the law,” said Minangsari.
Hearing this input, Alexander Wielgas, accredited assistant to Member of the European Union Parliament, sparked a discussion by asking questions. “How do we know if human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples have been respected, through what kind of certification scheme?” he asked.
To know that the rights of indigenous peoples are respected, Andre argues, namely by including a consent form from indigenous peoples before establishing oil palm estates. “If they (plantation companies – ed) cannot provide a form of consent from indigenous peoples, consumers from the European Union must think twice, if they want to trade with them,” said Andre. Then, Andre continued, those strict sanctions were needed for companies to respect the ancestral land rights of indigenous peoples. “If they continue to violate the standards, there will be more land conflicts in Indonesia,” he said.