Land Rights

Civil Society: Response By Forest Minister to Tax Evasion Claims in Logging Industry Lame

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The debate over corruption within PNG&’s logging industry heats up again as Civil Society Organisations in the country call the response by Forest Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, to claims of tax evasion in the logging industry, as lame.

'This is Not Empty Forest': Africa's Palm Oil Surge Builds in Cameroon

John C. Cannon

This is the first part of a series on palm oil in Cameroon. The next will follow shortly and will be linked here when published.

Tucked amongst the hilltops of Yaoundé are the signs of a country and an economy on the move. Cameroonians fill high-end grocery stores, bars and restaurants, often spilling out onto the street in the capital city streets to watch the traffic and people pass, by while enjoying the tropical capital’s surprisingly temperate weather with a glass of beer and a grilled fish.

Opinion: World Bank Reinvents Tainted Aid Program for Ethiopia

Elizabeth Fraser

I was taught that responsibility means admitting your mistakes and being accountable when you make a mistake. I still believe this to be true for individuals and institutions. So when a powerful group like the World Bank makes a mistake, I expect it to be accountable for its wrong-doings, and to do everything possible to make sure those mistakes don’t happen again.

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be farther from reality.

Ethiopia Body Suspends Farm Lease Programme After Poor Results

ADDIS ABABA—An Ethiopian state body that has been involved in leasing tracts of land for commercial farming has suspended the issuance of new licences until it completes a review because of scant progress in developing areas leased so far, an official said.

The Horn of Africa country in 2011 allocated 3.6 million hectares of land, close to the size of Switzerland, for firms seeking to invest in agriculture, mostly around its western Gambela and Benishangul Gumuz regions.

Green Resources Hedging Around Growing International Calls for Radical Reform of its Plantation Forestry Practices

Kristen Lyons and Peter Westoby The Paris climate talks at the end of 2015 no doubt left some feeling as though global politics might have turned a little green. With a Climate Agreement aiming at keeping global temperature increase to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius, national governments have some heavy lifting to do in cutting emissions. The green economy—including carbon markets and other payments for ecosystem services—is being championed as the ‘solution’ to meeting this target, alongside expanding the renewable energy sector. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) and related projects, and with a strong focus on developing countries, is part of what Naomi Klein calls the new ‘Gaia capitalism’; where making money is directly tied to saving the planet. But if that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is!

Corruption Threat to Pacific Island Forests

Catherine Wilson

CANBERRA, Australia - The vast rainforests of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Solomon Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean are crucial for environmental sustainability, survival of indigenous peoples and the wider goal of containing climate change. But forest degradation, driven primarily by excessive commercial logging, most of which is illegal, is a perpetual threat.

Sir J Slams Forest Authority

Sir Julius Chan, Governor of New Ireland Province, has challenged recent statements by the Forest Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, concerning a recent report from the Oakland Institute that was critical of the way the forestry industry is run in PNG.

A Look at College Investments that have been Questioned

Collin Binkley

BOSTON (AP) — Some of the nation's top universities have drawn criticism for making investments in certain industries that activists say run counter to the schools' mission.

Many financial experts don't see a problem, contending that endowments have a duty to make sound financial decisions above all else.

Colleges are split. Some have stopped investing in industries such as fossil fuels or prisons or have opted to invest in mutual funds billed as "socially responsible." Others put few restrictions on their investments.