Protecting and enhancing livelihoods
There are legitimate concerns about the impact of the proposed project on the livelihood of landowners, land users and the local community.
Our team, made up of skilled professionals and caring individuals – many of them originating from the local community – are committed to addressing those concerns through mitigating impacts, creating social and economic opportunities, and fair compensation. A number of initiatives and programmes including livelihood restoration, community and economic development, have been launched and will be expanded in the future to continue to address concerns.
The Land Acquisition Programme
We are completing the land acquisition process for negotiations that began before the project licences were cancelled in January 2022. We have not undertaken any activities relating to new land acquisitions since the cancellation of our project licences.
The land acquisition programme is implemented in line with the laws of the Republic of Serbia and best global practice, as well as with the Performance Standard 5 of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) and our internal company standards.
Since the beginning of the voluntary land acquisition programme, an extensive process of consultation and engagement has been implemented through face-to-face meetings and through community information days. The goal is for landowners to have the same or better quality of life and work after they move.
We have a dedicated team committed to this goal, including many subject-matter experts, such as:
- Real estate appraiser;
- Legal experts to provide legal assistance to the landowners;
- Consultants who help us understand any possible social and economic impacts of land acquisition, and also the ways in which we can support the landowners.
Our land acquisition programme is implemented through agreements with landowners, respecting their personal and cultural attachment to the land and the local community.
The method used to calculate compensation is in line with standards set by the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) and is explained in detail in the Land Acquisition Guide which has been submitted to all interested landowners.
More information about the IFC standards can be found here: www.ifc.org/ps5.
Compensation provided to landowners includes:
- Compensation for the land and all property on the land such as trees and crops, calculated by certified Compensation for the facilities, such as residential buildings and agricultural infrastructure.;
- Additional compensation for the costs of moving home for the landowners who will need to move;
- Additional compensation for the landowners who need to move in a short period of time;
- Taxes for the transfer of property, transaction costs, such as notary public fees and fees for the registration in the Land Registry.
Compensation values are calculated by certified land and asset valuers with Serbian and international experience, which is favourable for the landowners.
Livelihood restoration programme
We are committed to restoring the livelihoods of all landowners and land users impacted by the land acquisition process. The livelihood restoration programme is accessible to those who receive income from the land. The programme aims to support affected landowners and land users by maintaining the same or establishing a better quality of life than before the land acquisition process.
Our assistance programme includes
Support in finding new agricultural land and property
As part of assistance in finding new agricultural land and housing, we cooperate with local real estate agencies covering the regions of Loznica, Šabac, Krupanj and Mali Zvornik. Furthermore, we work with real estate agencies in Belgrade and Novi Sad on behalf of landowners who would like to consider other locations.
Landowners are offered assistance by our legal team to analyse the value of a potential property and help secure their tenancy. There are a lot of examples where the engaged legal team identified certain property-related issues and provided support to resolve them prior to the purchase itself.
Assistance in agricultural development
We know that agriculture is the main source of revenue for many members of the community, and our assistance programme also includes covering of the costs of purchasing agricultural equipment and supplies such as machinery, seeds and fertilisers for community members who want to continue work in agriculture.
Finance management training courses
Our programme also includes financial management support – such as offering enrollment in finance management training courses intended to educate households on their options before they make any kind of financial decisions. Furthermore, individual consultations with financial experts are offered to those who would benefit from tailored advice for their individual circumstances.
Professional skill development
Some landowners or members of their households may wish to find employment in other fields or industries. Our programme offers an opportunity to participate in professional programmes organised by Academia Educativa, at the Adult Education Centre in Loznica. These include English language, Microsoft Office and various craft courses. The first courses started in June 2021.
Development of existing businesses and support for start-ups
If a landowner is thinking about starting or growing a new business, the programme offers assistance from financial consultants who can prepare a comprehensive business plan for the landowner.
Warehouse space renting
We have rented a warehouse in Loznica provide storage space for members of the community to use while moving home. The warehouse is outfitted with security and a video surveillance system.