Biodiversity Offsetting

The promise to offset biodiversity destruction opens the door for corporations to obtain funding and access land which would otherwise be off limits for large-scale destruction. Promises to recreate or protect habitat of "equivalent" ecological value elsewhere is even opening up protected areas and World Heritage Sites to corporate destruction. Biodiversity offsets therefore create double destruction and exploitation, since corporations control both the territories affected by industrial activities as well as those targeted for offset projects.

A historical reflection of China’s main mass tree-planting projects puts in evidence the increasingly key role of capital and market forces in rural China. The most recent one is based on the idea of “green” consumerism and benefits some of the biggest retailer and technology companies.

The tens of millions of euros that the government of Acre received from the German government for its REDD+ program failed to stop deforestation. Despite this fact several Brazilian states continue to receive funds from the German government.

The environmental, climatic and social crisis has been a reality for many for a long time. Yet, rather than acknowledging their contribution to this crisis, corporations and allies use the pandemic to amplify their push to expand Protected Areas, presenting it as a "global solution".

The conservation industry’s plan to double the size of Protected Areas (PAs) is supposed to be the solution to biodiversity loss, climate change, and now even COVID-19! Although PAs will solve none of these, if the conservation industry keeps repeating a big lie, people will eventually come to believe it.

Back in 2004, conservation NGOs and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry pioneered with a model called Ecosystem Restoration Concessions. This article takes a closer look at this model in the context of new and old threats to forests, and the global push for “forest restoration”. (Available in Indonesian).

A key tactic for the giant pulp producer, Suzano S.A, to keep expanding its industrial eucalyptus plantations in Brazil, is to market itself as a company that practices “conservation” and “restoration.” This conceals its disastrous track record related to forest and forest-dwelling populations.

The community of Antsotso produced this video showing the impact of a biodiversity offset project of the mining corporation Rio Tinto /QMM on their livelihoods and their subsistence food production.

This editorial aims to raise a high alert with regard to the corporate agendas that dominate international forest-related processes, which appear to be entering new phases. The decisions taken have very real impacts on forest communities.

Oil multinational Shell claims that it is possible that consumers drive “carbon neutral”, simply by paying extra for offsetting their emissions - planting trees or investing in existing forest areas elsewhere. But what is happening in those areas elsewhere? (Available in Indonesian).

What are the experiences of communities living inside or adjacent to the plantation areas of companies with “zero deforestation” pledges? How can these companies continue expanding without deforesting in densely forested countries?

Language is never neutral. Certain concepts have historically been used to dominate people and territories. This article highlights concepts that are usually presented in a positive light but that actually serve economic interests that harm forests and communities.

The control of genetic resources (non-human living organisms that humans can make use of) through property rights has caused a massive theft of forest peoples’ knowledge. A project called the Earth Bank of Codes aims for a global seizure of life for capital accumulation.