Community Rights and Corporate Governance

Golden Veroleum Liberia’s track record: broken promises and continued deforestation

Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) and Milieudefensie researched Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL)’s compliance with three social contracts or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with local communities in 2014. On the basis of these MoU’s, Numopoh, Tartweh-Drapoh, and Nitrian communities provided GVL with access to their customary lands for the development of palm oil plantations. In return, agreements stated that the communities would receive benefits, including jobs, training, education, health care, a healthy environment and opportunities to develop their own farms.

Land Valuation Briefer

The Community Rights and Cooperate Governance Program (CR&CGP) of SustainableDevelopment Institute (SDI) is using a land valuation tool developed by Namati. It supportscustomary communities and forest dependent peoples to clearly understand the value of their landand guide them to make informed decision during land negotiations with companies or investors.The exercise also makes customary communities more cohesive and resilient in the managementand governance of their lands and natural resources.

Regional Dialogue on Oil Palm Development in West Africa - Conclusions

We, the delegates, from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and our partners from UK attending the Regional Dialogue on Oil Palm Development in West Africa from November 27th and 28th 2019, engaged in experience sharing on community rights, and the role of stakeholders in the context of oil palm plantation development and came to the following conclusions:

TIMBY Factsheet Vol.1 October 2019

Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO) runs the Palm Bay Estate palm oil concession in District #4 of Grand Bassa County. This concession falls under a 2008 agreement between its subsidiary Libinco (formerly Libinc Palm Oil Inc) and the Republic of Liberia. EPO has an approved Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for 13,962 hectares. Thousands of hectares of palm oil have been rehabilitated or newly planted (since 2014) as part of what the company termed ‘phase 1’ of 8370 hectares. Gmenee village sits right in that new planting area.

The Struggle Between the Powerful and the People

In November 2018, the Sustainable D e v e l o p m e n t I n s t i t u t e ( S D I ) commissioned field-based research on p r i v a t e l y o w n e d m o n o c u l t u r e plantations across Bomi County, Liberia. The study sought to identify and provide a broader understanding on the nature and implications of privately owned land holdings on the livelihood/food sovereignty of local communities in view of the expansion of Sime Darby's plantation activities. The research is aligned with promoting SDI's approach on community rights and food security with good governance in forest and climate p

High Risk in the Rainforest

In August 2010, Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) signed an agricultural concession agreement with the Gov- ernment of Liberia covering 350,000 hectares, or approximately 2.3 percent of the country’s land mass. The land indicated in the concession agreement is densely forested, rich in biodiversity and customari- ly owned and used by rural communities as the source of their food and water, livelihoods and culture.

Keeping The Promise

This report will examine two of the most serious potential threats to good governance and professional management of Liberian forests: the looming wave of Community Forestry Management Agreements (CFMAs), and the potential for large-scale conversion of forests into agriculture plantations – particularly oil palm. By examining these emerging issues critically, the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) hopes to warn the Liberian government and its partners of the potential for abuse and mismanagement in coming years.

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