GVL Social and Community Engagement Policy

GVL has established a Social and Community Engagement Policy for its oil palm development in Liberia, consistent with its Concession Agreement and the GSEP of GVL’s principal investors.

With this policy, GVL aims to improve the lives of people, and in particular those living in local resident communities, through its palm oil business development.

Core to this is a commitment to:

  • Obtain Free, Prior and Informed Consent of local communities.
  • Responsibly handle concerns and grievances.
  • Responsibly resolve conflicts.
  • Engage openly and constructively with local, national and international stakeholders.
  • Empower community development programs and support community outgrower programs.
  • Respect human rights.
  • Recognize and respect the rights and increase the opportunities of its employees and workers.
  • Comply with all relevant national laws and RSPO Principles and Criteria.

1. Free, Prior and Informed Consent of local communities

GVL respects and recognizes the long term customary and individual rights of the local communities to their land, and commits to ensuring Free, Prior and Informed Consent from these communities prior to commencing any new operations. Implementation of this policy will include:

  • Participatory mapping of all indigenous and local community lands prior to negotiation.
  • Social Impact Assessments carried out in a participatory manner, the results of which will be publicly available and actively shared with relevant stakeholders.
  • Open negotiation processes, which are non-coercive and free from intimidation.
  • Respecting decisions and agreements made in accordance of the communities established governance practices together with fundamental principles of inclusive democracy.
  • Documented agreements signed by relevant parties and or representatives.

2. Responsible handling of concerns and grievances

We will develop and maintain processes for the responsible handling of all concerns and grievances at the local, national, and international levels. These processes will be developed in consultation with stakeholders, and will be made publicly available.

3. Responsible resolution of conflicts

We commit to actively promote and support the responsible resolution of any conflicts involving GVL operations. This will include working with relevant stakeholders to ensure that conflicts are resolved through a process that is reasonably agreed upon by all relevant parties involved, respects customary, individual and democratic rights, and ensures the free prior and informed consent of relevant stakeholders, in accordance of applicable norms, to any resolution agreements. We also commit to doing our best to prevent any use of violence, coercion, harassment or intimidation by any involved party.

4. Open and constructive engagement with local, national, and international stakeholders

We commit to actively and constructively engage with GVL’s stakeholders, including communities, government, customers, and civil society at the local, national and international levels. This includes a commitment to make information regarding the impacts of our operations publicly available. We will seek to ensure that information is provided in formats relevant to affected stakeholders. We also commit to open and transparent negotiation for joint management activities. We expect the same commitment from all stakeholders, and we will not avoid to say what should be said, with the belief that frank and factual discourse shall be acceptable to all.

5. Empowering community development programs

In line with our Concession Agreement, we will develop and implement empowering community development and outgrower programs for the local resident communities in which we operate. These programs will be developed through an open, consultative and collaborative process.

6. Respecting human rights

We commit to uphold and promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all employees, workers, contractors, indigenous people, and local communities in all company operations.

7. Recognizing, respecting the rights and increasing the opportunities of employees and workers

We commit to ensure that the rights of all people working in our operations are respected according to local, national, and ratified international laws. We provide equal opportunities for all employees and workers, and embrace diversity regardless of ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, political affiliation, sexual orientation or union membership, while recognizing that communities who engage GVL to develop their land shall receive priority of initial opportunities. This is in line with GVL’s internal Human Resource Policy.

8. Compliance with all relevant national laws and RSPO Principles and Criteria

We will continue to comply with all relevant national laws and regulations as well as RSPO Principles and Criteria.