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PHC (FERONIA) / 18-002

Complainant: Réseau d’Information et d’Appui aux ONG en RDC (RIAO-RDC) and its chairperson Mr. Jean-François Mombia Atuku on behalf of a number of persons including leaders from communities and groups from areas which are claimed to be impacted by the project.

Date Filed: November 5th, 2018

Last update: April 30th, 2020

Case Status: Dispute Resolution

Complaint

Plantations et Huileries du Congo SA (PHC) is a Congolese company which operates three long-established oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) close to the river Congo. PHC produces mainly crude palm oil and palm kernel oil for the domestic market.

The complaint covers three areas of concern: the legitimacy of the land titles of the plantation and alleged deprivation of the use of customary land (1), alleged physical and human rights abuses by PHC security guards and police (2) and the lack of information and legal support of communities in negotiations with PHC (3). The complainants have requested to conduct a dispute resolution and mediation process with the aim of resolving the land dispute and seeking to address any consequent impacts on poverty and alleged harassment and human rights abuses.

Action taken

The panel determined that the complaint was admissible under the criteria of the Independent Complaints Mechanism Policy (2017) on January 7th, 2019. It published a Preliminary Review Report on November 22nd, 2019. The report contains the panel’s recommendation that a dispute resolution be conducted.

Status

The Independent Expert Panel has started preparations to initiate a mediation process. Due to the CoViD-19 pandemic and related restrictions, physical meetings have been postponed.

Further information

PROJECT INFORMATION

CLIENT: Plantations et Huileries du Congo SA

SECTOR: Agribusiness

TOTAL DEG FINANCING: USD 16.5 million

COUNTRY: Democratic Republic of the Congo