Uncertain Futures: What does Sime Darby takeover of NBPOL mean for the people of New Britain?
Uncertain Futures is the title of a 2012 report on the impacts of Sime Darby on communities in Liberia. The report paints a chilling and tragic picture of human rights violations.
Sime Darby is the Malaysian company now poised to take control of NBPOL and its plantations in Papua New Guinea.
Uncertain Futures details how Sim Darby evicted local people who found their farms and farmland being swallowed up by the expansion of oil palm plantations. Men and women were forced out of work as farmers and their children were left hungry.
Local people were not paid compensation for their lost land (only the standing crops which were destroyed) and there were very few alternative livelihood options available to them.
Forest areas used for cultural practices were destroyed and planted with oil palm.
Sime Darby took peoples land, their livelihoods and destroyed their culture. This was a flagrant breach of peoples land rights under the law and their internationally protected human rights.
The future offered by the company was very different. Their contracts with the government were promised would provide a critical step towards ‘sustainable development’ and create tens of thousands of jobs and contribute to an economic recovery. But these promises proved to be an allusion.
This was not the first time Liberia has suffered from the false promises of foreign plantation companies and their model of development based on unrestrained capitalism. In the twentieth century the culprit was Firestone, an American company that established vast rubber plantations on land taken from local communities with out any compensation and who were then forced to endure enslavement as workers on the plantations in humane conditions.
Download Uncertain Futures – The Impacts of Sime Darby in Liberia – 6 MB