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Protecting the "Lungs of West Africa"

Author: Veronique Mistiaen

In: New Internationalist, 2019, pp. 54-56

Brownell took up the case of indigenous people living in the rainforest against abusive violence and imprisonment for resisting the destruction of their environment and cultural monuments by the Southeast Asian agro-industrial company Golden Veroleum (GVL) planning to grow palm oil. Brownell's seven-year campaign invoked help from global NGOs to support a complaint to the Roundtable on sustainable Palm Oil, which froze GVL's expansion. He succeeded in saving over half a million acres of rainforest, but he had to flee to the US. He has also established a rural network - the Alliance for Rural Democracy - throughout Liberia to work form environmental justice.