The commentary by Friends of the Earth (FOE) published in Mongabay on 31 October is erroneous and ignores the fact that GVL has instituted various measures and has been transparent about its efforts under challenging circumstances within Liberia.
GVL had previously responded to the report, High Risk in the Rainforest, in July 2018 refuting many of FOE’s rehashed claims. The company also investigated new claims, specifically on clearance of forests which have been marked as High Carbon Stock, and found that some HCS areas had been inadvertently cleared by our subcontractors. In response, in August 2018, GVL voluntarily stopped all land clearing in Sinoe County to ensure that no further clearance occurred.
Concurrently, GVL launched a Sustainability Action Plan to strengthen its processes and practices with the help of Earthworm Foundation. Details of the plan and implementation progress are publicly available on our website and proactively shared with our stakeholders. Among other measures, GVL has revised and strengthened Operating Procedures (SOPs) including that for the conduct of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). In June 2019, the grievance lodged by the Du-Wolee Nyennue community was resolved. GVL is also complying with all RSPO directives, and reports progress every quarter.