This briefing, compiled by the World Rainforest Movement (WRM) and the Timberwatch Coalition (TW), is now also available in Swahili. It focuses on various internal and external factors determining changes in the extent of land under industrial tree plantations in 11 eastern and southern African countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe; Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho; and Madagascar.
This article gives an overview on the industrial tree plantation expansion threat in eastern and southern African countries, its external drivers, as well as the challenges this expansion presents to affected communities struggling to defend their land and livelihoods.
In order to better understand peoples' struggles across the southern and eastern regions of Africa, reflecting on its history is crucial. This editorial highlights some parts of this history. And this, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg.
Industrial oil palm plantations are rapidly expanding, not only in Liberia. In many African countries expansion projects are happening and plans are announced. Everywhere they go, the companies promise jobs and development. Produced by the World Rainforest Movement. Interviews; Winnie Overbeek Edition; Flavio Pazos September 2013 Also available in Spanish: Palma en África. Voces desde las comunidades
Original version by Ricardo Carrere - updated by the WRM in 2013. Oil palm is a traditional native crop for West and Central African communities, who are used to either plant them on their lands or to collect fruits, leaves or sap from native palms to use them in their daily lives: from locally processing palm oil to be used in the household or sold in the local markets to producing palm wine. Oil palm is part of their culture.
The Batwa (often described as “pygmies”) are widely regarded as the original forest-dwelling inhabitants of the Equatorial forest in the Great Lakes Region comprising Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda, they lived in the forest of the Mufumbira Mountains in the South West. They were hunter-gatherers that relied on the forests for their livelihood and found in the forests the sustenance for their spiritual and social life.
Oil palm and rubber plantations are very similar in many respects, but there is something that clearly differentiates them: oil palm is a native species in many West African countries –and part of the culture of local peoples- while rubber is clearly an alien species brought in by the Colonial powers. Oil palm and rubber plantations in Western and Central Africa: An Overview