The Corporate Sector

Corporate activities drive deforestation processes. To distract from their role in forest destruction, corporations engage in public-private initiatives, preferably with conservation NGOs. These fora play a crucial role in greenwashing their image, and in implementing strategies to weaken community resistance to corporate destruction. The corporate sector lobbies governments and politicians, often aggressively, to obtain priority access to land, incentives and subsidies. Corporations also put pressure on international policy processes in order to protect and expand their profits.

Many oil palm plantations’ concessions in West and Central Africa were built on lands stolen from communities during colonial occupations. This is the case in the DRC, where food company Unilever began its palm oil empire. Today, these plantations are still sites of on-going poverty and violence. It is time to end the colonial model of concessions and return the land to its original owners.