Community relocation

This page presents all relevant good practice case studies that showcase how business have addressed the Community relocation dilemma. Case studies have been developed in close collaboration with a range of multi-national companies and relevant government, inter-governmental and civil society stakeholders. We also draw on public domain sources, including the UN Global Compact's own published Communications on Progress through which signatories are required to report on their performance against the Ten Principles.

The case studies explore the specific dilemmas and challenges faced by each organisation, good practice actions they have taken to resolve them and the results of such action. We reference challenges as well as achievements and invite you to submit commentary and suggestions through the Forum.

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) Newmont: Resettlement issues - Ghana *

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) Coca-Cola Company: Responsible land management in sugar sourcing

AngloGold Ashanti: Joint Investigative Group to address impacts of the Obuasi mine - Ghana

AngloGold Ashanti has established a Joint Investigative Group (JIG) with WACAM (the Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining), in order to address both ‘legacy’ issues and issues currently affecting communities at the AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi mine in Ghana. After a 16-month process of meetings and interactions, the two parties held an inaugural meeting in 2007. The JIG is comprised of six representatives, three each from AngloGold Ashanti and WACAM.


The group's focus is on human rights, environmental issues, and issues relating to land and post-mining rehabilitation. The group conducted a fact-finding mission, visiting a number of Obuasi communities in 2007 and preparing a formal memorandum of understanding, which set out the group's terms of reference and programme. Additionally, AngloGold Ashanti set up a Monitoring Advisory Group which meets biannually. The group, which is led by an independent chair, includes local chiefs, WACAM, Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN) and elected municipal representatives.

Rio Tinto: Responsible relocation at the Simandou iron ore project – Guinea

The Simandou iron ore project – located in Guinea’s rural south-east – is a partnership between Rio Tinto, the Guinean government, Chalco and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The project, which at the time of writing was at a relatively early stage, includes the construction of a major port facility at Forecariah (to assist export), more than 670km of railways (for transportation of ore to the port), a major mining operation and associated logistics camps. It is expected to ultimately require the relocation of up to 350 households – and to result in economic displacement for up to 5,000 households. To manage this process – which is being carried out in line with relevant IFC standards – the company is engaging with the affected communities, and carrying out extensive land custodianship studies, focused on:

·         The identification of traditional lineages at village- and family-level

·         User/occupancy rights

·         Land usage data

·         Land, crop and asset valuations

The process is supported by local Land Commissions (which assist with the identification, purchase and allocation of replacement land), as well as village-level resettlement committees.

Resettlement began in 2012, starting with the physical relocation of 10 households for the construction of the port facilities – although this also required around 200 additional individual land acquisition agreements. All such agreements were subject to review by a third party to ensure a fair process.

PepsiCo: Official support for the FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure – Global

In April 2014, PepsiCo joined the Coca-Cola Company in giving its official support to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (Guidelines), developed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Guidelines – which were initiated by the FAO and endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012 – “promote secure ownership rights and equitable access to land, fisheries and forests as a means of eradicating hunger and poverty, supporting sustainable development and protecting the environment.” In particular, they aim to help protect the rights of local people during large-scale land acquisitions. PepsiCo has publishing a policy committing itself to respecting the rights of local people – and to encouraging supplier countries to meet the standards set out in the Guidelines.

In addition to committing itself to “fair and legal negotiations on land transfers and acquisitions in developing countries”, PepsiCo has committed to carrying out social and environmental assessments across its supply chain – including in Brazil (the company’s largest source of sugar).

The FAO is currently working with a number of companies to develop a private sector technical guide to assist with the implementation of the Guidelines.

Aureus Mining: Major resettlement project abides to international best practice – Liberia

Aureus Mining, a Canadian-based gold mining company, is undertaking a major resettlement project in the north-west of Liberia. The development of the New Liberty mine in Grand Cape Mount county involves the resettlement of two villages, Larjor and Kinjor, affecting approximately 2,077 people (including 325 property owners). The programme, which began in December 2012, is due for completion by the third quarter of 2015, when the operational phase of the mine is due to begin.

Aureus has committed to implementing the resettlement project in accordance with Liberian national laws as well as the Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). To this end, the company has closely adhered to the IFC’s guidelines for a Resettlement Action Plan.

According to local media reports in July 2014, residents have expressed general satisfaction with the resettlement – in particular over their new and improved homes. When the project is completed, residents will also have title deeds to two plots of land – including land provided for use while the new site is being development, as well as a larger plot on the new site. They will also benefit from new community schools, places of religious worship and medical facilities.

Some residents have already gained employment at the mine, while others are receiving skills training to be able to partake in activities to develop the mine, such as construction. The company is also providing adult literacy programmes and sponsoring community cooperatives. 

ICMM: Sharing practical guidance on resettlement planning - Global

In 2015, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) published guidance called ‘Land Acquisition and Resettlement: Lessons Learned. The report reflects the outcomes of a benchmarking study, conducted between 2012 and 2014 that analysed acquisitions and resettlement relating to 41 mining and oil and gas projects in 19 countries. This study was supported by three ICMM members, Rio Tinto, Gold Fields and Glencore. The guidance draws on practical examples of the challenges companies faced by the projects reviewed, and highlights innovative solutions applied.

The key message of the report is that resettlement planning should start early. Companies should invest enough human or financial resources to ensure impacts are assessed and mitigated, and that benefits are shared in a sustainable way.

The report emphasizes that successful resettlement has to be part of a wider set of practices, which are covered in 10 modules. These modules include: international policies and standards, impact assessments, planning, engaging stakeholders, resettlement, restoring sustainable livelihoods, vulnerable groups, construction, benefit sharing, and monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

The module on resettlement highlights key considerations which include, for example, understanding the local community context, rooting all actions in stakeholder engagement, working closely with the host government, and keeping the objective oriented toward creating an enabling environment that improves the livelihoods of those affected, while preserving existing social networks.

* Taken from: UN Global Compact et al, Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide