Consumption

Excessive consumption patterns, especially in the global North, and increasingly in urban centres in the global South, demand a constant extraction of minerals, energy and raw materials. Most of this extraction takes place in the global South, where companies take over community lands for industrial plantations, fossil fuel extraction and large-scale mining. Communities are losing their lands and forests so that consumers can continue to have cheap access to paper products, cars and mobile phones, etc – and companies continue to pocket their profits.

More than 10 million hectares in Indonesia are controlled by the pulp and paper industry, mainly by two giant corporations: APP and APRIL. Despite the companies’ commitments to protect forests and peatland, both keep being associated with deforestation, forest fires and to a business model of violence, criminalization and dispossession of forest communities. (Available in Bahasa Indonesia)
There are currently 270,000 hectares of oil palm plantations in Ecuador. The resistance processes of the communities of La Chiquita, Guadualito and Barranquilla de San Javier in the region of Esmeraldas continue to generate outrage and solidarity among other communities, and internationally.
This bulletin focuses on a central cause of large-scale deforestation and dispossession of forest peoples: The imposition of land concessions as an instrument to separate, divide and map land according to economic and political interests. In consequence, the editorial alerts on the grabbing of vast amounts of hectares for Carbon Concessions.
The control of land was vital to colonisers. It meant wealth, territorial influence, access to ‘resources’ and cheap (and often enslaved) labour. The separation of indigenous inhabitants from their territories was a crucial component that persists until today. The effect of this history continues to influence the management of and conflicts over land.