Research methods

Background to CarbonViolence.Org

A lot of the material on this website has been sourced from the report: The Darker Side of Green: Plantation Forestry and Carbon Violence in Uganda – the Case of Green Resources’ Forestry-Based Carbon Markets. The full text is available online through the Oakland Institute, based in Oakland, California.  More information about the Carbon project and its authors can be found in the About page of this site.  If you have any questions, please please leave a comment at the bottom of the page and someone will respond to you as soon as possible.

About our research methods

The evidence presented in this report draws from primary data collection undertaken at the company’s two license areas in Uganda–Bukaleba and Kachung Central Forest Reserves–during two field visits, and split over a year. The first phase of fieldwork involved interviews and focus group discussions held between June and July 2012, in nine villages (three inside the company license area, and six adjacent) affected by Green Resources (Lyons), with a second phase occurring between July and September 2013 (Lyons and Westoby). In total, the evidence presented is based on discussions with over 150 community members living alongside the plantation forestry sites. Some villages were visited twice, and sometimes three times.

Map showing research sites - Bukaleba and Kachung Central  Forest Reserves.

Map showing research sites – Bukaleba and Kachung Central Forest Reserves in Uganda (Source: Green Resources, accessed 11 August 2014).

These discussions generated individual and collective recollections of events related to the arrival and conduct of Green Resources. Given little prior investigation into displacement in this region, we were not able to triangulate these accounts with other evidence (e.g. no eviction registries exist). Villagers live a subsistence lifestyle with little access to education, and have had little or no opportunity to document or record keep, and little understanding of why this might be important–hence people often gave approximate rather than specific accounts.

The selection of villages was based on information provided by company staff, local NGOs, and elected local representatives. These ‘gatekeepers’ provided introductions to villagers located inside and adjacent to the project sites, and on the basis of these introductions, a snowball sampling technique was adopted, as well as random sampling amongst villages visited. This purposive sampling provided an approach to hear from a diversity of people, and to gain information about the range of experiences associated with the arrival of the company. Interviews were continued until research saturation was reached, that is, until no new themes were raised, but rather existing themes were repeated, albeit in different ways.

Given the risks for participants in this research, including fears of recriminations for speaking with researchers, the presentation of findings is undertaken to ensure the anonymity of participants. As such, we do not refer to the village that participants reside in, or other aspects that might reveal participants’ identities.

Primary data collection also involved interviews with six Green Resources company staff, including repeated interviews with the in-country Executive Director and community development and plantation management staff. The CEO, Mads Asprem, declined the opportunity to be interviewed.

In addition, interviews were conducted with 16 representatives from government, environmental non-government organizations, a number of journalists writing on the topic and local community health officers.

Research involved using interpreters, recording and transcribing of interviews and rigorous analysis of data. The research project attained ethics approval via The University of Queensland, Australia.

Full report

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.

Questions/comments about the project?

If you would like to know more about the project or have something to say, please Leave a Comment at the bottom of this page, or visit our Contact page.

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