Press Release: RRI Response to Sime Darby February 3rd accusation of "False and Inaccurate Reports on Liberian Operations"

Date: February 13, 2012


In response to February 3, 2012 press release by Sime Darby Berhard “False and Inaccurate Reports on Liberian Operations.”Washington, D.C. – In light of Sime Darby’s February 3rd claims, the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) has verified all quotes and facts presented in “Turning Point: What future for forest peoples and resources in the emerging world order?”, “Rights to Resources in Crisis: Reviewing the fate of customary tenure in Africa,” and the accompanying press release. We stand behind the facts as we originally reported them.These recent analyses provide a rigorous analysis covering 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, showing that there is an almost continent-wide disconnect between what many governments assert they own and what local communities know has been theirs for generations.RRI recognizes and applauds Sime Darby’s ongoing engagement with the rigorous social and environmental standards established by the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). RRI looks forward to reporting on the positive benefits accrued by all parties stemming from these interactions.The land rights issues raised in RRI’s analyses, specifically regarding the Sime Darby operations in Liberia, is an exemplary warning of the issues and risks investors in Africa will face unless the rights of local people and communities are respected at the outset of investment deals.RRI supports responsible investment and development, and works closely with local actors to ensure that their voices are heard and their rights respected.