The Darker Side of Green: Plantation Forestry and Carbon Violence in Uganda
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Anuradha Mittal, 510-469-5228; [email protected]
Oakland, CA: New research uncovers the “darker side” of the global green economy, revealing brutal consequences of much-lauded carbon offset schemes.
A new report released today by the Oakland Institute, The Darker Side of Green: Plantation Forestry and Carbon Violence in Uganda, debunks popular claims that carbon trading represents a “win-win” for rural communities and the environment. Firsthand accounts from Uganda reveal that villagers living in and around land concessions acquired by Green Resources, a Norwegian company implementing forestry-based carbon offset projects, have experienced forced evictions and restricted access to land and food, in addition to loss of livelihood—all in the name of green investment. Green Resources, allegedly the largest operator of green forestry plantations on the African continent, has leased more than 10,000 hectares of land in Uganda alone, with additional landholdings in Mozambique and Tanzania.
Supported by investments and loans from international aid and investment development agencies—including NORFUND, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries—the stated objective of Green Resources is to mitigate climate change and ensure sustainable environmental management, community development, and poverty alleviation in Uganda.
“Based on research conducted over the last two years, the report raises important questions and concerns about the ability of the project to achieve its stated goals,” said Dr. Kristen Lyons, lead author of the report. “Interviews with over 150 Ugandan villagers shed light on the ‘darker side’ of the green economy and expose the hidden social and environmental costs of Green Resources projects in Uganda that are borne by the local communities,” she continued.
"While carbon trading based on the offset of environmental pollution from the global north to the global south is widely championed as a good news story, this report highlights the need for closer scrutiny of such initiatives,” said Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute, publisher of the report. “It is unacceptable for carbon trading schemes to result in forced evictions and increased food insecurity while delivering little to no improvement on access to health, sanitation, and education," he continued.
Following the launch of the report, a public event will be held at Litteraturhuset, Wergelandsveien 29, Oslo, on November 4, 2014 from 11:00am–1:00pm to discuss the findings of the report. The event is organized by the Norwegian Forum for Environment and Development (FORUM), Future in Our Hands, Spire, and the Development Fund, in cooperation with the Oakland Institute.
To read the report, “The Darker Side of Green: Plantation Forestry and Carbon Violence in Uganda,” please visit: http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/darker-side-green