Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) says reports published by the Independent Probe newspaper in its March 7, 2021 edition titled: "Golden Veroleum In Hot water Over 'Land-grab & Rainforest Bulldozed, Int'l panel Finding Reveals" does not provide a complete and accurate account of findings of a recent High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) investigation.
The company in a press release, claims it had published its acknowledgement and initial response to the HCSA findings on February 17, 2021 referenced: https://goldenveroleumliberia.com/gvl-acknowledges-hcsa-decision-reaffirms-commitment-to-sustainable-operations/
"In summary, GVL acknowledged the High Carbon Stock (HCS) forest clearance when the matter was first raised in 2018 and there was no attempt to hide or deny the clearance, even while efforts were made to validate the claims, the extent and causes with the assistance of a third party, the Earthworm Foundation (EF). Contrary to reports that over 1000 ha of HCS forests were cleared, a detailed ground assessment found the actual number to be 165 ha in the area of interest", the release notes.
GVL points out that the HCSA report itself qualified its initial findings and recommended that ground assessments be performed to verify the actual clearance.
According to the company, it has reviewed the measures spelt out in the HCSA decision, and notes that many of these are already being implemented under its current Sustainability Action Plan
(https://goldenveroleumliberia.com/sustainability-action-plan/). It promises to incorporate the remaining ones into a revised plan which has been submitted to the HCSA for review, adding that GVL has decided to suspend further land development in compliance with the HCSA decision until the matter is resolved according to HCSA guidelines.
"GVL remains committed to be fully compliant with the responsible palm oil commitments according to RSPO Principles and Criteria and the GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP)", the release concludes.