Contributing To A Better Society

Community & Indigenous Rights

We protect and respect the rights of communities living within and around our operations, creating positive impact through proactive engagement and collaboration.
Objective
To continuously enhance our Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) processes and engagement framework with local communities, mitigate the risk of adverse impacts and ensure mutual benefits from our operations.
Progress
In Liberia, our Liberian Social Team engages with Project Affected Communities (PAC) in order to improve Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process and procedures. Regular meetings are conducted with PAC leadership and every six months, townhall meetings are held with the wider PAC community.

Some of our related initiatives include:

  • Putting in place improved and structured grievance procedures for communities to lodge complaints.
  • Revising the oil palm planting policies and procedures to increase buffer zones between local communities and our operations to a minimum of two kilometres, allowing more space for traditional farming.
  • Improving the transparency and robustness of crop compensation payment mechanisms. Compensation is based on the rates set by the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Conducting Social Surveys to better understand the history, standard of living and sources of livelihood of local communities. This helps us monitor the scale and areas of improvement in community livelihood resulting from our operations.
  • Adopting a participatory mapping approach to avoid potential infringements on areas of social and religious significance. Participatory mapping is conducted by local communities themselves, with technical assistance from civil society organisations, to demarcate sensitive areas that Sime Darby will avoid.
  • Developing a detailed reference manual on FPIC and land acquisition practices, which captures the new adaptations of FPIC considerations for Liberian conditions.
Approach
Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) works closely with communities who often depend on jobs or business opportunities from SDP's operations for their livelihood. A proactive approach to engagement and seeking FPIC to work within these communities is integral to our business. SDP’s framework of Social Impact Assessments, regular stakeholder consultations and engagements during RSPO certification and surveillance audits is embedded in the operating approach for all estates.

The Group’s FPIC processes are periodically reviewed by independent assessors to ensure their effectiveness and that they reflect current best practices.

Sime Darby Plantation's FPIC Process:

  • Identify and engage with community representatives
  • If the community rejects the idea of a plantation in the area, we will not enter
  • Participatory mapping, SEIA assessments and HCV assessments with local community
  • Presentation of risks and benefits of a plantation to the local community. If the community decides that the risks outweigh the benefits, we will not enter
  • Once consent has been obtained, we will engage NGOs if necessary to arrive at a consensus on outcomes with the local community
  • We agree on compensation, benefits and legal arrangements on the proposed plantation
  • A new plantation is established with participatory monitoring and a grievance resolution mechanism in place
  • We only begin operations once agreement has been reached with local communities
  • FPIC In Liberia
    The expansion in Liberia is part of our overall growth strategy where we see the potential of Liberia and its people and have undertaken the necessary steps to build a sustainable business in the country.
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