Monrovia– GVL maintains that reports published by the Independent Probe newspaper in its March 7, 2021 edition titled: “Golden Veroleum In Hot water Over ‘Land-grab & Rainforest Bulldozed, Int’l panel Finding Reveals” does not provide a complete and accurate account of the findings of a recent High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) investigation.
In summary, GVL acknowledged the High Carbon Stock (HCS) forest clearance when the matter was first raised in 2018 and there was no attempt to hide or deny the clearance, even while efforts were made to validate the claims, the extent and causes with the assistance of a third party, the Earthworm Foundation (EF). Contrary to reports that over 1000 ha of HCS forests were cleared, a detailed ground assessment found the actual number to be 165 ha in the area of interest. GVL would like to point out that the HCSA report itself qualified its initial findings and recommended that ground assessments be performed to verify the actual clearance.
GVL has reviewed the measures spelt out in the HCSA decision and notes that many of these are already being implemented by GVL under its current Sustainability Action Plan (https://goldenveroleumliberia.com/sustainability-action-plan/). GVL will incorporate the remaining ones into a revised plan which has been submitted to the HCSA for review.
Meanwhile, GVL will has decided to suspend further land development in compliance with the HCSA decision until the matter is resolved according to HCSA guidelines. GVL remains committed to be fully compliant with the responsible palm oil commitments according to RSPO Principles and Criteria and the GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP).