Our partners in the Sustainable Development Institute in Liberia are asking for international help to remind the Liberian President of her promise to protect community land from the UK company Equatorial Palm Oil UK. They are asking as many people as possible to sign their petition.
Liberian NGO Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) have filed a complaint on behalf of 363 community members from Jogbahn Clan in Grand Bassa County with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) against Equatorial Palm Oil plc.
Community representatives from across Liberia assembled in Bopolu City in Gbarpolu County on 27 – 29 November, to discuss the impacts of palm oil agricultural concession developments taking place in Liberia on land already used and owned (customarily or otherwise) by communities. Over 150 community delegates from the counties of Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Sinoe attended the meeting jointly organised by the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), the Save My Future Foundation (SAMFU) and the Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev).
Statement and Declaration by Affected Community members from Sime Darby and Golden Veroleum Oil Palm Concessions – Three Day Conference in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County
Agri-business expansion in Africa is a major threat to the forests and livelihoods of African peoples. Where governance is weak and the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples are insecure, agricultural development is disadvantaging local people.
Awareness of the social and ecological impact of agri-business expansion in South East Asia has led to new standards for acceptable palm oil development. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a third-party voluntary certification process, has adopted a set of Principles and Criteria that is substantially consistent with a rights-based approach, and which seeks to divert palm oil expansion away from primary forests and areas of critical High Conservation Value (HCV) while prohibiting the takeover of customary lands without communities’ Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Increasingly, adherence to the RSPO standard is becoming a requirement for access to the European market and major palm oil producing conglomerates seeking to maintain market share are now members of the RSPO.