Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Local Communities
Last year we noted increasing attention from NGOs, especially because of our growing activity in the food and agriculture sector. In order to proactively engage with these external stakeholders we defined the key themes around which we communicate and began to analyze how to most effectively exchange knowledge with the NGO community. One instance of knowledge exchange was a discussion of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines with several NGOs, including SOMO, a non-profit organization working on social, ecological and economic issues related to sustainable development.
Local communities and NGOs often have the same goals. Their knowledge and understanding of the possible outcomes of an envisaged project are of the utmost importance to its acceptance and success. That is why we believe that we and our clients must pay due attention to these stakeholders and take action where needed.
We have formally identified a number of NGOs we feel are relevant for FMO to actively work with, such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). We worked closely with the WWF on various initiatives in 2012. Among these was a joint report on sustainable palm oil production, which we produced together with UK development finance institution CDC.
As we enter 2013, we are making an inventory of the major issues for NGOs and where we stand on each, such as hydropower, production of foodstuffs such as soya and palm oil and mega stables. We will then identify the NGOs that are most involved with each topic and define how we can work together with them to develop or refine our policies.