People

Palm oil

Court Returns Leased Land to Sierra Leone Community

A community  in Sierra Leone is  hopeful  that a court ruling which ordered an international palm oil company to return a big block of land to its owners  would be a source of empowerment for them to retake control of their land and resources.

In the course of the case the court discovered that the land in Port Loko district, northern Sierra Leone, was leased to a Singapore-based palm oil company, Siva Group, in 2011, but  for three years it failed to fulfill its rent obligations to  landowners.

In its judgment the court ordered the return of the 41,500 hectares (103,000 acres)to the community and a imposed  $250,000 fine.

 Lawyers for the case disclosed that this was the first time in the  history of Sierra Leone that a community would  win back land leased to a foreign company.

 

Agriculture Legal Affairs Sierra Leone Human Rights West Africa