Empower - The Campaign for Northeastern University


Ensuring Zero Net Deforestation and Accountability in the Palm Oil Industry

Masterclass with Alfred Brownell: Ensuring Zero Net Deforestation and Accountability in the Palm Oil Industry

This masterclass will focus on Brownell’s recent victory against Golden Veroleum, an oil palm developer, in which the Appeal Panel of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil denied the company’s appeal against complaints that Brownell and his colleagues filed in 2012 on behalf of communities and indigenous peoples in Liberia. Even though palm oil is one of the world’s most ubiquitous ingredients, it is also the source of massive deforestation, species extinctions and social conflicts.

Brownell will discuss how he, along with thousands of indigenous community clients and other civil society actors, utilized a non-judicial complaint mechanism, challenged palm oil companies and stopped the destruction of West Africa’s last remaining tropical forest, a home to indigenous people and a biodiversity hotspot that Brownell refers to as the “lungs of West and North Africa.”

A light reception sponsored by PHRGE will be held following the discussion.

Alfred Lahai Brownell
Distinguished Scholar, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy,
Northeastern University School of Law Beau Biden Chair, Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund

Alfred Brownell has dedicated his life to protecting human rights and the environment. As the founder and lead campaigner at Green Advocates, Liberia, he worked for 20 years as a researcher, legal counsel and advocate for impoverished communities.


Wednesday, January 23 at 4:00pm to 6:00pm

230 Dockser Hall

Event Type



School of Law, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE)



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