Uncertain Futures: The impacts of Sime Darby on communities in Liberia
Large-scale land grants totaling more than 1.5 million acres to Sime Darby and Golden Veroleum for oil palm and rubber plantations jeopardizes land rights of local populations, threatens local livelihoods and wellbeing of communities, and puts the future viability of one of the world’s most significant biodiversity hotspots into doubt. Uncertain Futures, released by the Liberian NGO Sustainable Development Institute, presents testimonies of people affected by Sime Darby operations in western Liberia and highlights the fears of others where the company plans to expand in the coming years.
According to the report, “the situation facing communities impacted by the expansion of Sime Darby’s plantation in Garwula District, western Liberia is dire: the plantation is on their doorsteps, and their farms and farmlands are being swallowed up by it. There are very few alternative livelihood options.” According to locals interviewed for the report, Sime Darby did not pay compensation for farm lands to them. They also claim that compensation paid for crops that had been destroyed was inadequate and that forest areas used for cultural practices had also been destroyed and planted with oil palm.