Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) has begun holding series of consultations with some of its host communities in Grand Kru County, southeast Liberia aimed at reviewing draft Community Development Fund (CDF) charters and soliciting communities’ inputs to form their CDF committees.
A press release issued by the company says in October last year GVL asked for community nominations to sit on CDF committees, and discussions are taking place with the Trehn communities in Sorroken, Weteken-Garraway Beach, Nemiah-Piddy-Nyanbo and Po-River Chiefdom, respectively.
GVL has welcomed the nominations it has received from its Gbanken-Belloken-Ylatwen communities in Wedabo/GrandCess Administrative District. “New land preparation has begun here, which prompted the initiation of discussions on CDF, a charter with the Gbanken communities”, the release read.
Assistant manager for social sustainability and community affairs, James Mulbah, said the move by the Company is in line with article 4 section 4.2 (c) of the 2009 Community Right Laws of Liberia and article 19.7 (a) & (b) of the GVL Concession Agreement.
These documents commit the company to annual contributions of US$5.00 per hectare of land developed into a community development fund for each community where agreement is reached to develop land for oil palm production. The purpose of the CDF is to establish a sustainable community financial management system that will give local communities the means to fund and manage their own social infrastructure development projects.
“Our operations work on the basic of full compliance with Liberian laws and the terms of our concession agreement. The move by GVL is in fulfillment of our concession agreement and MOUs; and also in line with article 2.1 of the Roundtable on Sustainable Oil palm (RSPO) principles and criteria for sustainable oil palm production. This requires all its members including GVL to comply with all applicable local, national and ratified international laws and regulations,” explained Mulbah.
He added that each CDF committee should comprise a total of ten (10) persons from the community, GVL and the Government of Liberia. The Committee will be responsible to control, manage and administer the fund.
“The CDF charter when adopted, will empower the committee to operate as a single administrative body to identify with the consent of the community and use the fund for additional social infrastructural development projects such as schools, clinics, roads, and bridges in addition to what GVL is carrying on as part of its corporate social responsibilities for communities in which we operate”, Mulbah detailed. Press Release