The primary goals of IDH in South East Liberia include promoting investments in community oil palm outgrower communities, working to set aside forest for conservation, and building community capacity in governance, land use planning, food security and income diversification, as well as forest protection and monitoring. IDH also aims to bring stakeholders together to develop a vision on the future of the landscape that can be laid out in a green growth plan.

The landscape in southeast Liberia is centred around the palm oil concession held by Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL). Liberia is one of the least developed countries in the world, with high levels of undereducated and unemployed youth and few opportunities for economic development. The southeast of the country where GVL obtained concessionary rights to develop 220,000 hectares for oil palm in 2010 is particularly undeveloped. Also, the southeast is especially densely forested, responsible oil palm development is key.

Production, Protection, Inclusion

GVL partnered with IDH and the Liberian Forestry Development Authority to raise capital for investing in community oil palm farms, and leveraging on the investment to incentivize forest conservation. This is part of IDH’s Production Protection Inclusion approach. The partnership will introduce Production–Protection Agreements (PPAs), as a form of public–private–community forest protection governance. Through these PPAs, the communities, the Forestry Development Authority and GVL agree to conserve and actively monitor and manage community owned forests and biodiversity, in exchange for access to investment capital raised and technical assistance to establish community oil palm farms and diversify income sources. The investment model includes an annual conditional income paid to the community, which is conditional to compliance with the Forest Protection plan.

The partnership’s first round investment will be for 4,000 hectares of community oil palm farm land spread over 6-8 communities in the south east of Liberia, leveraging at least 20,000 hectares of HCV/HCS forest conservation. Key investors include the Investment Fund for Production Protection that was launched at the World Economic Forum in January 2017, and GVL as the concession holding company.

The initiative builds on the key lesson that for effective forest conservation, it is essential that all concerned parties work within an agreed and consistent framework. The strength that GVL brings is its community engagement and forest monitoring, and coordination with communities and with the Liberian Forestry Development Authority, as organization mandated to monitor forest conservation. IDH role is working with Government of Liberia and the concession holder (GVL) to raise the investment capital, and support the community and government with technical assistance and capacity building in the field of community governance, land use planning, food security and income diversification and forest protection and monitoring.

Daan Wensing

Program Director, ISLA

phone+31 (0) 6 1588 3096

e-mailemail me

Nienke Stam

Senior Program Manager

phone+31 (0)6 5286 2393

e-mailemail me

Lizzy van der Wal

Country Coordinator, Liberia

phone+231 (0) 886084004

e-mailemail me

Manizha Korodiva

Communication Officer, ISLA

phone+31 (0) 30 230 5660

e-mailemail me

Silas Siakor

Senior Landscape Convener, South Eastern Liberia 

Hilary David

Food Security and Income Diversification Specialist

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Sector: Palm Oil

Supported initiatives in South East Landscape, Liberia

  • Community Oil Palm Outgrowers Liberia

    The Oil Palm Outgrower Scheme in Liberia is anchored in the Liberian oil palm concessions, as a joint program between oil palm companies, the government of Liberia (GoL) and the local community with the goal to improve community livelihoods.

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Partners in the South East Landscape, Liberia sector