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Resolution GA19-2b
Proposed Resolution to be adopted at the 19th General Assembly (GA19) of RSPO Members

1 December 2022
TITLE: RSPO prioritises jurisdictional approach to accelerate the transformation of sustainable palm oil standards, the inclusion of independent smallholders and engagement with local communities.

Submitted By: Yayasan FORTASBI Indonesia, Forest Peoples Programme, Earth Innovation Institute, The Procter & Gamble Company, Asosiasi Petani Sawit Swadaya Amanah, Royal Ahold Delhaize N.V, Sawit Watch, Yayasan Setara Jambi, Lingkar Komunitas Sawit (LINKS), Both ENDS, KUD Tani Subur, UD Lestari, Koperasi Perkebunan Sawit Marga Indah, Koperasi Beringin Jaya, KUD Mekar Sari, WWF Indonesia, Koperasi Produsen Mandiri Gaharu Seratus Bosar Maligas (KPM-GSBM), Badan Usaha Milik Desa "Karya Mandala Makmur", Koperasi Konsumen Bersatu Makmur Jaya, PPKSS-TAYO BAROKAH, Koperasi Produksi "Rimba Harapan", HOFER KG dba ALDI SOUTH Group, ASDA STORES LIMITED, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., Coles Supermarkets Pty Ltd, Coop Switzerland, The Co-operative Group, Lidl Stiftung & Co.KG, Marks and Spencer plc, Federation of Migros Cooperatives, Sainsbury's Supermarket Ltd., Tesco PLC, John Lewis Plc


Independent smallholders play an important role in the transformation of sustainable palm oil standards. There are over 7 million independent smallholders around the globe, with Indonesian and Malaysian independent smallholders contributing 45% of their national productions.
Since RSPO’s independent smallholder standards came into force in 2013, there has been no significant growth in the number of independent smallholders pursuing RSPO certification. Globally, 25,000 independent smallholders have been RSPO-certified up to 2022.
RSPO has made significant efforts to accelerate independent smallholder inclusion in the system, such as providing a simple standard known as the Stepwise Approach, a programme fund to support independent smallholders through RSSF, and the Academy for independent smallholders. In addition, encouragement for independent smallholder’s accelerated certification is specifically mentioned in Indicator 5.1.8 under Principle 5 (Support Smallholder Inclusion) of P&C 2018. However, this was also unable to encourage their inclusion in RSPO certification on a large scale.
This is, in part, due to the lack of Governments’ involvement in RSPO certification scheme, despite the fact that RISS 2019 outlines that one of the important requirements for pursuing RSPO certification is to meet legal aspects, such as land legality, independent smallholder organisational legality, and environment management legality.
Evidently, RSPO already has a designed approach known as the Jurisdictional Approach (JA) to encourage local Governments’ engagement in accelerating RSPO certification. In 2018, JA was included in the RSPO Theory of Change (ToC) as a key strategy to achieve RSPO’s vision of ‘Making the Sustainable Palm Oil the Norm’. However, this approach seems to have lost impetus and needs a measurable plan and resources to accelerate its implementation.
Proposed Resolution:

We, the civil society, RSPO independent smallholders and supportive RSPO member companies, believe that the jurisdictional approach can help accelerate the standard implementation, particularly in terms of meeting legal requirements and developing strategies to engage local Governments in promoting sustainable palm oil standard implementation. Therefore, we are proposing the following resolution:

“RSPO prioritises jurisdictional approach to accelerate the transformation of sustainable palm oil standards, the inclusion of independent smallholders and engagement with local communities” 

With key points as follow:
  1. RSPO has a measurable plan in place to accelerate JA implementation through engagement and collaboration with national Governments and applicable national standards.
  2. RSPO formulates an adaptive model of the existing certification scheme.
  3. RSPO, through collaboration with local governments, implements its model to track its implementability, applicability, and auditability.
  4. Members of RSPO actively involve and participate in multi-stakeholder forums and processes at jurisdictional level.
  5. The RSPO Board and RSPO Secretariat allocate adequate budget and staffing resources required to implement the point above and restore impetus to the Jurisdictional Approach.
Potential Benefits:

  1. Smallholder Inclusiveness
  2. Support for Smallholder Strategy document
  3. Support for Shared Responsibility standard
  4. Acceleration of RSPO vision achievement: Making sustainable palm oil the norm
Potential Risks & Mitigation:

Potential risks if this resolution is not adopted: 
  1. Inadequate oversight by RSPO means implementation falters
  2. JA pilots weaken for lack of support or engagement
  3. Inadequate Quality Assurance
  4. Inadequate measures to allow genuine smallholder and local community participation.
Proposed Standing Committee/Working Group/Task Force in overseeing the Resolution:

Jurisdictional Working Group (JWG), RSPO Secretariat
Contact information:

Rukaiyah Rafik,

RSPO Theory of Change, RSPO Smallholders Strategy