Land Rights

Ethiopia Hands Dissident 9-year Jail Term

An Ethiopian court has handed down a nine-year jail sentence to a leading dissident from the restive region where the government has leased vast tracts of land to foreign investors.

OPINION: Breaking the Grip of Rimbunan Hijau over Papua New Guinea

Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute, coordinated the research for the Institute’s agroeocology project.

Human Rights in Ethiopia - An Update

Tom Lantos Commission Briefing, April 19, 2016
2255 Rayburn House Office Building

Statement by Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute

Congressman Ellison, members of the Tom Lantos Commission, thank you for this opportunity to provide an update on land-related human rights issues to you.

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.