Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
October 4th 2011
Dear Salahudin and Julia,
We write to inform you that we are members and inhabitants of the affected local communities including chiefs, elders, women and youth within the proposed Malaysian palm oil company, Sime Darby 220,000 ha oil palm concession in Liberia.
Specifically, we are local inhabitants of towns and villages which include a) Sije, b)Moore town, c) Kon town,d)Medina, e) Gayah Hill, f) Beafinie, g) Gbasomou, h)Dama, i) Bama, j) Gbar, k)Baaja, l) Claymontuah, m)Gobo, n) Zarmeyan, o) Vonzua, etc… identified by the Sime Darby Social and Environmental Impact Assessments ( SEIA) and its Public Summary Report of New Planting Assessment, May 2011 reported on the RSPO website for the proposed 10,000 ha located in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount County where Sime Darby is currently engaged in active land clearing, destruction of our sacred sites, destruction of our crops, damming of our creeks and streams, filling in of our swamps, destructions of grave sites, destruction and pollution of our drinking water sources, forceful displacement of our people without adequate compensation, active planting and cultivation of oil palm including the massive establishment of an oil palm nursery without our free prior informed consent.
Additionally, we are local inhabitants of towns and villages which include: a) Marnivalor b) Mesila, c) Soe, d) Banford, e) Kornomah, f)Number 2,g) Mecca, h) Bacca, i) Massatine, j)Gbenii, k) Seimi, l)Didior, m)Dangatee, n) Burphy, o)Sambola, p) Geedah, q) Mbalikou, r)Thomas Camp, s) Goodrich,etc… identified by the Sime Darby Social and Environmental Impact Assessments( SEIA) and its Public Summary Report of New Planting Assessment, July 2011 reported on the RSPO website for the proposed 15,000 ha located in Garwula and Gola Konneh Districts Grand Cape Mount County where Sime Darby is planning to expand its oil palm operation
Salahudin and Julia, we have been informed by local Liberian civil society organizations that Sime Darby is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which requires members to observe the RSPO standards and procedures. We understand that some of those standards and procedures include rights of local communities to their customary land and their Free Prior informed consent to developments on their land.
Salahudin and Julia, if you took a closer look at Sime Darby Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for both the 10,000 ha and the 15,000 ha you will find that within the Socio-Economic Survey Data, in Appendix F of the ESIA that the “ nature of land tenure is “tribal land”, “family land” and “community land”— owned by us . We are therefore legally entitled to free prior-informed consent with the full power to reject or accept proposals to invest on our property Additionally, if you reviewed both the May 2011 10,000 ha and July 2011 15,000 ha Public Summary Reports of New Planting Assessment reported on the RSPO website, you will find that wit in those two report Sime Darby’s Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) and a High Conservation Value (HCV) Assessment completed in 2011 recognized among others “ All local peoples’ land” . The Land belongs to and is owned by us.
We are therefore shocked to see Sime Darby operating on our customary land without our free prior informed consent, especially since Sime Darby herself recognized that the “ nature of land tenure with in their “so-called concession area” is “tribal land”, “family land” and “community land.
We therefore write to formally submit this complaint to the RSPO that within the 10,000 ha and several portion of the 15,000 ha, Sime Darby has forcefully engaged into the grabbing o our tribal land with our free prior informed consent, with little or no compensation,, They have engaged into massive destruction of our crops and culturally significant...