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IFC Collaboration with  with the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) - information workshop on the RSPO National Interpretation Process.

On January 22nd 2013, IFC collaborated with the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), to host an information workshop in Freetown on the RSPO National Interpretation Process. The full day workshop brought together fifty participants representing key stakeholders in the oil palm industry, with the purpose of creating awareness of the RSPO, and initiating discussions on the process of adopting international best practice standards for the oil palm industry.

Participants were welcomed by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food Security – Hon. Lovell Thomas, IFC Sierra Leone Country Representative - Mary Agboli, and SLIEPA Chief Executive Officer – Patrick Caulker. The event was chaired by Mr Henry Kamara, Managing Director of the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company (SLPMC).

The information session included an introduction to the RSPO, and overview of the principles of sustainable palm oil production, information about auditing and certification, which were presented by IFC global product specialist on standards, Kate Bottriell. IFC Project Officer Damilola Sobo provided an overview of the National Interpretation process, encouraging participants to self-nominate for the technical working group. The event was rounded off by a break-out discussion session led by the Environmental Foundation for Africa (EFA), on opportunities and challenges for sustainable palm oil production in Sierra Leone, the outcomes which will be used by the technical working group to help plan their approach.

Organizations and individuals interested in participating in the Sierra Leone National Interpretation working group can contact Damilola Sobo for details: or Isata Gandi at This workshop is part of IFC’s global strategy for engagement in the palm oil sector, which includes support for national interpretation of internationally recognized global standards. For more information, see the website IFC in the Palm Oil Sector.



RSPO Africa Roadshow

The Proforest Initiative, working together with an alliance of partners, has received funding to carry out a capacity building programme in Africa to raise awareness about the RSPO guidelines and the HCV concept among key stakeholders in West and Central Africa. The programme commenced with a series of events in Liberia, Ghana and Gabon from May 2012.

Large scale oil palm expansion in Africa is at an early stage, with many companies negotiating concessions agreements and planning investment in recently allocated land holdings. While oil palm development has the potential to deliver many socio-economic benefits, there are also significant environmental and social risks. Many negative impacts associated with long-established plantations are the consequence of poor planning during the establishment phase, which results in long term liabilities such as biodiversity loss and deforestation or creates conditions for social conflict.

The Principles and Criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) provide standards for sustainable palm oil production including guidelines on responsible expansion. However, in Africa there is currently limited understanding about the RSPO guidelines and the related High Conservation Value (HCV) concept. The Africa Roadshow aims to contribute to an environment for increased adoption of the RSPO Principles and Criteria as well as the effective use of the HCV framework in the countries where most palm oil expansion is planned. 

The programme aims to significantly increase the level of understanding of the RSPO requirements in general, and for expansion in particular, among key stakeholders, including government institutions, civil society and the local private sector. The capacity building and awareness raising events are designed to facilitate the uptake and integration of RSPO best practices in both large-scale and smallholder plantations in the region.

The first events in this series will take place in Monrovia, Liberia and Accra, Ghana in May 2012, with a third event planned in Libreville, Gabon in June. Training in a number of other countries is expected to take place later in the year and early in 2013. 

The RSPO roadshow is being coordinated by The Proforest Initiative, working together with an alliance of partners including the RSPO, Conservation International, Solidaridad, WWF, the HCV Resource Network, ZSL, and GIZ. Funding has been provided by the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Programme, with additional support from Sime Darby, Olam International and Unilever.

Published on Mar 06, 2012.

Related documents:

RSPO Africa Roadshow_BN 1_web (1.34MB, PDF)
RSPO Africa Roadshow_BN 2_web (1.30MB, PDF)
RSPO Africa Roadshow_BN 3_web (1.26MB, PDF)
RSPO Africa Roadshow_BN 4_web (1.40MB, PDF)
RSPO Africa Roadshow_BN 5_web (1.31MB, PDF)