CarbonViolence.org accompanies a report published on November 4, 2014 by the Oakland Institute called The Darker Side of Green: Plantation Forestry and Carbon Violence in Uganda – the case of Green Resources’ forestry-based carbon markets [click on the title to access a full copy of the report]. The report was researched and written by three Australian academics:
- Associate Professor Kristen Lyons (contact Kristen at The University of Queensland)
- Dr Carol Richards (contact Carol at Queensland University of Technology)
- Dr Peter Westoby (contact Peter at The University of Queensland).
Both the report and the website exist to raise awareness of plantation forestry and carbon market activities undertaken in Uganda by a company called Green Resources. Green Resources is a forestry plantation company registered in Norway. To find out more about Green Resources and its links to Uganda, you can read this post: About Green Resources.
In recent years, there has been a significant trend toward land acquisition in developing countries, establishing forestry plantations for offsetting carbon pollution generated in the Global North. Badged as “green economic development,” global carbon markets are often championed not only as solutions to climate change, but as drivers of positive development outcomes for local communities. But there is mounting evidence that these corporate land acquisitions for climate change mitigation–including forestry plantations–severely compromise not only local ecologies but also the livelihoods of the some of the world’s most vulnerable people living in subsistence in rural areas in developing countries.
This report examines the acquisition of land in Uganda by Green Resources, a Norwegian-registered plantation forestry company. Green Resources produces saw log timber and charcoal in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda, and receives carbon-offset revenue from a number of its plantation forestry operations. This report focuses specifically on the company’s activities in Uganda, where it holds two licenses over 11,864 hectares of the government-owned Central Forest Reserve, land that villagers historically had access to grow food, graze animals, and engage in cultural practices.
Under the licensed land agreement between Uganda’s government and Green Resources, upwards of 8,000 people face profound disruptions to their livelihoods, including many experiencing forced evictions. Villagers across Green Resources’ two acquisitions in Uganda, at Bukaleba and Kachung Central Forest Reserves, report being denied access to land vital for growing food and grazing livestock, as well as collecting forest resources vital for their livelihoods. Many also describe the corporate pollution of land and waterways by agrochemicals used in forestry plantations, resulting in crop losses and livestock deaths. Many of those evicted, as well as those seeking to use land now licensed to Green Resources, report being subjected to physical violence at the hands of police and private security forces directly tied to Green Resources, with some villagers imprisoned or criminalized for trespass.
This report aims to elevate the voices of villagers who have been profoundly impacted by Green Resources’ practices on traditional lands, and who describe themselves as having no-one to turn to for solutions, or to bear witness to their marginalization from access to food, livelihoods, cultural sites, security, and so much more. This report introduces the term “carbon violence” to give context to the diversity of structural, social, political, economic, and cultural harms connected with the way carbon markets have evolved, and explores Green Resources’ role in the carbon violence experienced by the villagers and the local ecosystems they inhabit. Evidence presented demonstrates how subsistence farmers and poor communities carry heavy costs associated with the expansion of forestry plantations and global carbon markets.
The complete report is available for free online, from the Oakland Institute. You can access it at this link: The Darker Side of Green: Plantation Forestry and Carbon Violence in Uganda – the case of Green Resources’ forestry-based carbon markets.