How does GVL adhere to RSPO guidelines?
GVL is committed to sustainable Palm Oil production. As we are a start up organization, we have been able to and shall continue to adopt RSPO principles from the very beginning of our work. All land development, from the first acre, will be conducted in compliance with RSPO.
Internally, our management team has prior experience in RSPO and as we expand, sustainable operations will be a key part of our internal training, standards, and audit and performance evaluation. Corporate policies and programs are from day one compliant with RSPO Principles and Criteria. These policies and programs form an integral part of our management system and the way we work day-to-day. Additionally, we educate the general Liberian public through the media on our FPIC practices.
Where relevant, what processes is the organization establishing to engage with interested parties, for example to resolve conflict or to use sustainably produced Palm Oil?
Our investment planning and land selection is conducted together with local communities, starting from series of community meetings, progressing to discussions and surveys and equal engagement with both the traditional (informal) and with the formal governance and social structures and membership, and in accordance to the FPIC approach. We are proud of the fact our land selection for development is today overwhelmingly guided by invitation from local communities and individuals who wish us to work with them. Local community members are given employment priority and training opportunities.
We will not only provide income and create employment for the rural people; we are also committed and have agreed to be contractually obliged to bring infrastructure, education and health care to the communities and thereby lift livelihood of the local community, creating the basis for stability and peace.
We are committed contributors to two important initiatives that will be built together with the communities (The Community Development Fund) as well as with all the constituents of the emerging Liberian sustainable Oil Palm industry (The Oil Palm Development Fund).
We are also engaging with Liberian Colleges and Universities, with our annual USD $100,000 scholarship fund for students in agriculture, rural health care and engineering and development of a postgraduate program in the area of sustainable Oil Palm development and protection of the environment.
Further, we will contribute to preventing or reducing deforestation and land degradation caused by rural poverty and food shortages, through provision of employment and income opportunities, productive food production practices and training and education.
Where relevant, how will GVL work toward implementing RSPO Principles and Criteria or assessing supplier performance against these criteria?
As we proceed, sustainable operations will be a key part of our internal training, standards, and audit and performance evaluation. Corporate policies and programs are developed and aligned to RSPO Principles and Practices. These policies and programs will form an integral part of our management system and the way we work day to day.
GVL is committed to the environmental management through its environmental, land use and conservation policy with respect to biodiversity conservation, soil and water protection and socio-economic development. In addition to the RSPO principles, GLV strictly operates in accordance with Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia and any other laws and regulations of the EPA of Liberia.
We have heard a lot about FPIC. What exactly is it?
FPIC is the process we use to ensure that communities are aware of what potential development means. Every community potentially able to participate in Oil Palm development and investment should be able to decide whether or not it wishes to do so in accordance with its own traditions and cultures and through a clearly defined process of consultation. We achieve this through the “FPIC” process by going through the following steps:
- Free – Communities must be free to make their own decisions without coercion, intimidation or harassment.
- Prior – Consent must be obtained before any physical development activities begin.
- Informed – During the FPIC process, every reasonable effort is made to communicate to the entire community the detailed development plans and potential impact, whether positive or negative, as well as any other material information.
- Consent – The community agrees (or does not, according to their choice) to proceed with the development and the terms under which the development will take place.