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.
Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO) is a UK-based oil palm company that is listed on the London Stock Exchange. In 2010, the company acquired a 34,500-acre concession in Grand Bassa County, which included large tracts of forest land owned and occupied by communities. These communities were not consulted during the signing of the concession agreement, and many have expressed opposition to the company’s expansion plans. Instead of respecting the rights of the communities to object to the proposed expansion, EPO seems to be collaborating with a paramilitary unit of the Liberia National Police to intimidate, harass and perpetuate violence against the affected communities.