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Land grabs and human rights violations exposed in Liberia ahead of global development summit

Palm oil companies are grabbing more than 1.5 million acres of land in Liberia and are violating the human rights of local communities, warn Liberian NGOs including Friends of the Earth Liberia (SDI - Sustainable Development Institute), Save My Future Foundation (SAMFU) and Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev)…Malaysian palm oil giant Sime Darby and Indonesian Golden Veloreum have entered into long term land leases with the Liberian Government. Investigations into Sime Darby’s operations reveal that communities…had little warning or consultation of this land grab. Many of the inhabitants, especially women, say they have lost their farms and food sources, livelihoods, as well as culturally sacred sites to oil palm plantations…[There is] also concern…about large scale conversion of primary and secondary forest to palm oil plantations…[Civil society organizations]…are demanding a halt to any further planting and further deforestation and environmental degradation in any of the concession areas. [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies to respond. Sime Darby referred us to a previous statement. Golden Agri-Resources, Golden Veroleum Liberia respondes provided.]

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