Massive land grabs in Liberia by a major oil palm company at the peak of the Ebola outbreak have had a hand in the harassment and violence faced by Liberians speaking out against palm oil expansion, a new report released Thursday claims.
A palm oil industry body orders one of the world's major producers to stop buying or developing new plantations in Indonesia, in a dispute seen as a test case on expansion by agribusiness firms versus local land rights.
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.
Singapore-based Golden Agri-Resources, which has oil palm plantations covering 250,000 ha in Indonesia, wants to expand in Kalimantan. Rights groups accuse the company of taking land from local people without free and informed consent.
"In a country like Liberia, it is not possible to do large-scale sustainable plantations". Silas Siakor explains the link between the Ebola epidemic and the ruthless exploitation of forest resources in the region.
Citizens of Sinoe County have filed a complaint to the RSPO, an overall body of Palm Oil Worldwide, to stop Golden Veroleum Liberia's (GVL) ongoing operations of land clearing in their towns and villages.