Sierra Leone: Land grab for palmoil

Sierra Leone

The people of Sierra Leone are resisting a new biodiesel project. SOCFIN, a Luxembourg-based company, is planning a palmoil plantation of around 12,000 hectares (around 30,000 acres). The land is being provided to the investors at essentially no cost. While the small farmers have petitioned the government, the government’s involvement in the land deal leaves them with no one to protect their rights. Those who protest against it are subject to intimidation.


 “Large tracts of land are now being cleared to make way for palmoil monocultures, and the species-rich natural flora is being destroyed in the process,” says Joseph Rahall, Director of the NGO, Green Scenery. “Farming families grow a wide variety of foods there, and are thus able to weather food shortages. Many of the families have now stopped their cultivation work because they fear that multinational companies will occupy their land. “Villagers who protested peacefully against the illegal occupation of their land have been arrested. Some are now standing trial. “The biofuel policies of the countries of the North are threatening the security of people in countries like ours,” the human-rights activist complains. (More background information). Please write to the government of Sierra Leone yourself or sign a ready-to-go letter here. The SOCFIN plantation project must be stopped immediately and the land returned to the farmers. We will hand over the collected signatures in the near future.