Opinion piece by Marcus Colchester, May 2019
The Dow Jones Sustainability Index has removed the world’s second largest palm oil company, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), from its list of sustainable companies, reported Friends of the Earth (FoE) this week.
Indonesian, Liberian and International NGOs have just filed five (5) new complaints against Indonesia’s largest palm oil company, Golden Agri Resources (GAR), after its failure to comply with RSPO standards.
In response to the RSPO Complaints Panel’s damning verdict on GOLDEN VEROLEUM LIBERIA (GVL) – a verdict upheld on appeal – GVL has announced a decision to 'voluntarily withdraw' its RSPO membership.
On the 13th February FPP joined local communities and partners in Liberia in welcoming the decision of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Complaints Panel’s (CP’s) on Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL). This recent decision followed from an independent review of GVL’s implementation of previous CP decisions that involved a number of compl
Community-based monitoring to evidence human rights violations and changes to the ecosystem was the focus of a workshop attended by indigenous peoples from six African countries.
The Civil Society Working Group on Land Rights Reforms (the Working Group), in collaboration with the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL), has been actively advocating land reform in particular the protection of customary land rights since 2009
FPP has received disturbing reports alleging oppressive treatment of staff belonging to the civil society organisation Green Advocates by the Liberian Government, causing Green Advocates' staff and their families to fear for their personal safety and go into hiding. FPP calls on the Liberian Government and international community representatives to take urgent and credible action to guarantee the security and safety of all Green Advocates staff and their families.
Palm oil giant Golden Veroleum (GVL) has bulldozed religious sites in southeast Liberia and has paid police armed with assault rifles to protect its plantations, a new Global Witness exposé has revealed. (1)
Communities in Liberia have spoken to palm oil sector representatives about ongoing land tenure issues and participation of peoples in future plans for their customary lands.
Sixteen representatives from across Liberia attended the 2nd Annual Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA) National Dialogue to talk about the future of both their lands and large-scale agricultural developments in the country.
The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 is a global public-private partnership, designed to remove deforestation from the palm oil, beef, soya, and pulp and paper sectors. In Liberia it focuses on the palm oil sector and has previously worked with the government, private sector and civil society to produce a series of nine guiding principles designed to regulate the sector in Liberia.
The Civil Society Working Group on Land Rights Reform in Liberia, endorsed by the national Civil Society Council of Liberia, has been involved in intense and persistent advocacy work to raise awareness around land reforms in the country, particularly to get the general public to demand the passage of the Land Rights Act (LRA).
This suite of training materials has been developed for communities in Liberia to help increase awareness of the key principles surrounding free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) and to improve the implementation of these principles in practice.
This review is the result of several years of fieldwork by the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), and is the first step of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) funded project that examines putting into practice in Liberia the FAO Technical Guide entitled ‘Respecting free, prior and informed consent, Practical guidance for governments, companies, NGOs, indigenous peoples and local communities in relation to land acquisition’.
This review is the result of several years of fieldwork by the Liberian civil society organisation Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev), in partnership with the UK-based Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), and is part of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) funded project that examines putting into practice in Liberia the FAO Technical Guide entitled ‘Respecting free, prior and informed consent, Practical guidance for governments, companies, NGOs, indigenous peoples and local communities in relation to land acquisition’.
Letter from the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev) and Forest Peoples Programme to the Impacts Division and Complaints Panel (CP) of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), challenging the CP's 19th September 2015 decision and findings that Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) operations are broadly compliant with the RSPO standard.
Click here to read the letter
From 16-19 Nov. 2015, FPP in collaboration with its local partners working across the Africa region organized in Yaoundé in Cameroon a meeting on Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV). The objective of this MRV meeting was to develop a common approach to community-based monitoring and set out appropriate indicators and tools for MRV that FPP and partners can mainstream throughout various initiatives on the ground to secure the rights of forest communities.
Several years of fieldwork by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and civil society partners in Liberia has revealed the extent to which palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) and its lead investor Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) are continuing to operate without the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of local communities within their concession area, despite the companies’ claims to have learned from past mistakes.
Golden Veroleum and Golden Agri-Resource’s palm oil operations in Liberia are compounding poverty and food insecurity by taking land without community consent and making hollow promises of development benefits, says new report
Silas Siakor, environmental activist and Goldman Prize Winner, and the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) have been working on community mapping throughout Liberia for many years.