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Sierra Leone bioenergy project poses new challenges to communities

Author: Swedwatch, Published on: 19 April 2019

[T]he Addax Bioenergy project was established in Sierra Leone in 2010...

It was initially owned by oil and gas company Addax & Oryx Group and partly funded by several European Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) including Swedish Swedfund and Dutch FMO. Already in 2015, the DFIs exited the project...

The impacts of the stall [...] were highlighted in the 2017 Swedwatch report “No Business, No Rights.”

The Addax project was resumed in 2016 and is today owned by British-Chinese company Sunbird Bioenergy...

Sunbird Bioenergy shared the relocation plans at a multi-stakeholder meeting in March 2019 where the community was informed that the relocation would likely start in 2020...

[T]he community members feel they are today left with two equally bad options; they cannot stay due to the pollution and the closeness to the factory, while a relocation entails a number of risks such as losing access to vital land. Furthermore, the area that the community will be relocated from holds important religious sites...

Swedwatch calls for the project owners to develop responsible exit strategies and to provide communities with access to effective remedy, in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Furthermore, continuous human rights due diligence should be conducted, during and after the relocation.

Read the full post here