In developing countries, land use and ownership is an inherently complex matter, exemplified in part by the high incidences of overlapping or un-delineated land rights in land concessions. Shaped by the nation’s development policies and projects, they can sometimes have an unintentional impact on the local communities, resulting in conflicts and disagreements.
When such agrarian conflicts arise, we endeavour to be respectful of the local communities and are committed to long-term relationship building, with a goal of harmonious relation with all our stakeholders. We engage the affected communities in an open and consultative manner to bring about a free, prior, informed and consensual solution that benefits all parties. Our policy mandates strict adherence to land development only in areas where we are welcomed by the local communities. We will respect the wishes of local occupants who want to keep their land, and these areas will be delineated as social enclaves for community use.
Making reference to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, Wilmar’s policy guidelines are:
- Wilmar will respect the resource (e.g. land, forests and fisheries) and tenure rights of local communities. This is done in cognizance of the national obligations, constitutions, local laws and regulations of the country we are operating in. We diligently strive to ensure that we use land to which we have a legal right, and in which the country’s government recognises us as the rightful entity to manage the land in question.
- If there are land disputes, Wilmar seeks to resolve them in an open and consensual manner. In the event of loss or damage affecting legal or customary rights, property, resources or livelihoods. We endeavour to undertake all measures to help avoid such loss or damage.
Wilmar pledges to respect and recognize the long-term customary and individual rights of indigenous and local communities, and commit to ensuring legal compliance as well as international best practices in FPIC are implemented, in accordance with the full scope of this Policy, prior to commencing any new operations. Wilmar will engage with international stakeholder communities to ensure FPIC processes are correctly implemented and continuously improved. Wilmar’s FPIC procedure will be found here when available
Our standard practice involves negotiating with individual landowners and local community leaders or the government, depending on the country in which we operate. With respect to compensation, we strive for a fair compensation to the local community leaders for existing crops, with statutory levels of compensation as a minimum. We also implement progressive community development programmes via employment opportunities and the smallholder scheme, making every effort to ensure that the communities are satisfied with the socio-economic benefits that development will bring.
We strive to improve and strengthen the effectiveness of our Land Claims Resolution system in an assiduous manner. This is done via an inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach and by working closely with local civil society groups and social experts.