GVL Hails Greenpeace Assessment Progress Report

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Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) has appreciates Greenpeace progress report made on its prime investor, Golden Agri Resources (GAR), a palm oil producer based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over 40 countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

According to GVL statement, on December 22, 2014, Greenpeace published a report on GAR. In that report, Greenpeace presented its views on GVL operations here.

Since early 2013, GVL has worked with partners, including Greenpeace, to implement robust policies and procedures to manage environmental and social impacts, prevention of deforestation and to develop land with local communities free, prior and informed consent.

GVL recognizes that, in the startup phases; the approaches to community engagement and deforestation were not adequate. From 2013, GVL has detailed and put to practice the implementation of our Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) based on the emerging High Carbon Stock approach. 

GVL appreciates that this work is noted in the Greenpeace report. Work remains to be done to develop a robust, multi-stakeholder defined landscape-based conservation and development approach based on viable economic business model, which achieves the objectives of countering deforestation together with respecting communities' rights and aspirations, and supporting the national development goals of Liberia. 

GVL is expected to further engage with the Government and other institutional stakeholders, while recognizing the current Ebola crisis impact on immediate Government priorities. Engagement with communities is ongoing, the statement indicated.

“Our Social and Community Engagement Policy (SCEP) articulates our commitment to a robust Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) approach. We have worked since April 2013 with the infield support of The Forest Trust (TFT) as advisor and monitor.”

The statement said that GVL believes that its updated FPIC approach has helped the company develop a constructive engagement with communities who have invited GVL to work with them.

They (GVL) also recognize the challenges and the need for continuous development of our community information and FPIC engagement activities.

“This is important particularly in a post-conflict society such as Liberia, where opportunities and concerns may quickly divide communities. GVL strives to engage sensitively and transparently with communities and interest groups, as well as pre-empt or promptly address any grievances that may arise.”

 GVL welcomes dialogue and participation with civil society organizations committed to work with our partner communities. “We appreciate Greenpeace's constructive inputs and treat them seriously.”

 There appear to be also factual inaccuracies, outdated comments and recommendations that should be updated and expanded, perhaps reflecting the fact that Greenpeace has not visited our areas of operation in Liberia since November 2013. We will post a full assessment of the inputs and our recommendations for next steps in the coming days after a comprehensive review.

GVL is a committed long-term investor in Liberia and asserts its commitment to ensuring minimal impact to forests, to providing positive impacts to communities, and to national development.

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