Evicted for carbon credits: New Oakland Institute report confirms forced evictions for Green Resources’ plantations in Uganda
The Oakland Institute has released a new report about the impact of Green Resources’ plantations in Uganda on local communities: “Evicted for Carbon Credits: Norway, Sweden and Finland displace Ugandan farmers for carbon traders”. The report is the Oakland Institute’s third about Green Resources, exposing the destructive impact the company’s plantations have had on local communities.
Green Resources is a Norwegian plantation and carbon offset company with plantations in Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda. On its website, Green Resources claims that,
Green Resource helps to contribute to climate change mitigation through the planting of trees and protection and restoration of native habitat areas. Green Resources’ projects offer premium greenhouse gas offsets. Our projects contribute to sustainable development, socio-economic development and environmental conservation in rural areas of Africa.
These claims are nonsense. Carbon offsets do not mitigate climate change. Instead, carbon offsets allow the continued burning of fossil fuels, thus accelerating climate breakdown. Plantations of exotic pine monocultures do not protect or restore native habitats. And Green Resources’ carbon offsets come at the expense of local communities’ livelihoods.
In Uganda, Green Resources has almost 12,000 hectares of industrial tree plantations. Thousands of people were evicted to make way for the plantations. People living near the plantations in Kachung Forest Reserve have lost access to land for farming, grazing, collecting food and firewood. The food security of villagers has deteriorated severely since Green Resources established its plantations.
The Oakland Institute obtained letters from Green Resources to local farmers. One of the letters, dated 23 March 2009 describes subsistence agriculture as “illegal cultivation on forest land”:
We have confirmed that you are still digging in the forest reserve where we have planted trees despite the fact that last year you pledged not to continue cultivating in the reserve.
This is to warn you to STOP the practice immediately. We shall not be held responsible for any damage on your crops during the course of our activities in the forest reserve.