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Report

25 May 2018

Author:
Swedwatch

Liberian communities still suffering from failed bioenergy project

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Shortly after the exit of Swedish companies Vattenfall and Swedfund from a bioenergy venture in Liberia 2012, the project collapsed...

The project, and its shutdown, led to several human rights challenges for local communities... [T]he investors left without an exit strategy and without conducting adequate human rights due diligence (HRDD) in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)...

Farmers [...] state that they are not able to sustain themselves since the promised assistance did not materialise. Workers who were disabled due to injuries incurred while working in the project say they have not been compensated...

Swedwatch’s dialogue with Vattenfall and Swedfund during 2018 shows that six years after their exit from the project, investors have implemented general improvements in their HRDD processes. However, they have not yet assessed the adverse impacts or discussed how they may contribute to remedy for the affected rights holders in Liberia...

The findings in this briefing add to Swedwatch’s previous research on responsible investments..., including that human rights impacts tend to increase in the event of an unexpected shutdown of land-related projects. Without responsible exit strategies in place, communities face high risks of having to cope with adverse impacts on their own with limited access to remedy...