Calls for monitoring of ‘responsible investment’ in webinar on agribusiness
Large scale agribusiness investments in the global south often include promises of new jobs and incomes but risk resulting in smallholders losing land and livelihoods.
In Liberia, smallholders have been forced from their land and seen fish stocks decimated by rubber plantations. Palm oil production in Indonesia has caused massive deforestation, loss of arable land and the eviction of indigenous communities.
During an online discussion co-hosted by Swedwatch last month Radiatu Sheriff-Kahnplaye, Policy Advisor at the Natural Resource Women Platform in Monrovia called on investors to closely monitor how their money is spent rather than rely on companies’ policy claims.
“Responsible investment policies are good. But it is our experience that what is happening on the ground is frequently different from what is written down. What investors should do is monitor what is happening on the ground,” she said.
Yuyun Harmono, Campaign Manager for climate justice, WALHI, Indonesia called for legally binding instruments to regulate transnational corporations.
“Palm oil is viewed as an improvement for the economy by the government and companies but for indigenous communities it means destruction of their homes,” he said.
Nonette Royo, Executive Director of the Tenure Facility and Karin Kronhöffer, Director Strategy and Communication at Swedfund also joined the discussion, which was moderated by Beatrice Crona, Executive Director GEDB at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and co-organised by Swedwatch, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and Forum Civ.