On 6th March 2017, the Board of Governors (BoG) endorsed the recommendation made by the Smallholder Working Group (SHWG) and the Biodiversity and High Conservation Values Working Group (BHCVWG), on the need to develop the Remediation and Compensation Procedure (RaCP) for Independent Smallholders (ISH), as well as the interim measures during the developmental stage of the procedure.
The RSPO RaCP was officially endorsed at the RT13 on 12th November 2015. Remediation and compensation is required for any clearance of land since November 2005, without prior HCV assessments and it is applicable to ISH. The assessment of liability is covered by the current procedure, however, the mechanism for the delivery of the compensation for ISH is still pending.
RSPO recognised that in the absence of clear direction and procedure for the ISH group to tackle issues related to C7.3, it will be very challenging for ISH to be certified. Hence, the following decision was made by the BoG:
1. Setting up of RaCP for Independent Smallholders Task Force
A Task Force group will be set up to decide how to accommodate land clearance without HCV assessment post-November 2005 by ISH.
The Task Force will be under the jurisdiction of the BHCVWG.
The Task Force shall recommend a timeline to guide the RaCP implementation for independent smallholders and propose the appropriate interim control measures to be applied on independent smallholders.
2. Interim Measure – Conditional Certification
As an interim measure, ISH who have developed land since November 2005 will be allowed to proceed with certification, with reference to C 7.3, and these areas will be certifiable, provided that they have:
a. Fulfilled all other requirements in the Group Certification Document
b. Disclosed to RSPO Secretariat the extent of land cleared without a prior HCV assessment since November 2005*;
c. Conducted Land Use Change Analysis (LUCA) with technical and financial assistance from RSPO;
d. Identified their social liability (if any);
e. Finalised the net conservation liability, endorsed by the RSPO Compensation Panel; and
f. Prepared a remediation plan (not compensation), where relevant.
*Acknowledging that the LUCA process is time consuming, the Group Manager (GM) is advised to submit the shapefiles of their farm boundaries to the RSPO Secretariat upon the confirmation of the presence of non-compliant land clearance.
Requirement for Written Confirmation from RSPO Secretariat
Group Managers (GMs) will work with RSPO Secretariat to get the finalised net conservation liability which will then be endorsed by the RSPO Compensation Panel. If required, GMs will be expected to submit a Remediation Plan to the RSPO Secretariat.
The Certification Bodies (CB) will receive a written confirmation on the suspended status of the compensation delivery from the RSPO Secretariat. The information will then be made available to the ISH GMs by the CB. The suspended status of the compensation will be valid until the RSPO has a mechanism for the delivery of the compensation, developed by the Independent Smallholder RaCP Task Force.
For further clarification on the above matter, kindly contact, Ms. Julia Majail, RSPO Smallholder Program Manager at [email protected] and/or Mr. Dillon Sarim, RSPO Compensation Executive at [email protected].