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The European Union Recognizes the Need to Include International Standards in the EUDDR Regarding the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

By: Teguh Iman Affandi

Andrea Schierbaum, Accredited Assistant to Members of the European Union Parliament,  said that the awareness spread within the European Union Parliament to include the rights of indigenous peoples in the EUDDR proposal. She said it during a virtual dialogue with Kaoem Telapak and its network on June 20, 2022.

Indigenous Peoples of Segun, Sorong, West Papua Province
Photographer: Andi Lekto

“Inclusion of the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities is a big concern in the European Union Parliament,” said Andrea. She further explained that inclusion is mainly related to prior consent or permit before clearing land for the production of six commodities to be regulated, one of which is palm oil.

Andrea admitted that the EUDDR’s draft only mentions national law as a criterion for meeting the EUDDR requirements. “International’s standards that relate to indigenous peoples must include in evaluating the commodities that traded originating from deforestation activities or not,” he said.

In the latest update, Andrea explained, that the EUDDR proposal is still in the discussion stage. She added an article that guarantees indigenous peoples’ rights, especially in the risk mapping section. “In the risk management section, operators must look whether the products they buy contribute to the violation of the rights of indigenous peoples or not,” said Andrea.

Dialogue with Two Accredited Assistant to Members of the European Union Parliament
Andrea Schierbaum and Tammy Schmitt

Previously, in November 2021, the European Union released a regulation proposal called the Europe Union Due Diligence Regulation (EUDDR). The European Union made this regulation to reduce the rate of deforestation and environmental degradation. This rule will oversee six commodities, namely; chocolate, coffee, beef, soybeans, wood, and palm. Commodities deemed to contribute to illegal logging activities and environmental destruction will be denied entry to the EU market.

Responding to this draft regulation, on April 22, 2022, Kaoem Telapak and civil society networks in Indonesia released a joint statement. The statement consists of points regarding the compliance of legality. They argued that the EUDDR’s proposal has gaps in legal standards. Kaoem Telapak and civil society networks requested that the European Union needs to include international instruments in determining its legality standards, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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