Industrial Logging

Industrial logging opens up forests in order to extract the most economically valuable trees, leaving behind a trail of roads and destruction. Violence, corruption and illegality are often associated with the logging industry. “Sustainable management plans,” “low impact” or “selective” logging and certification schemes have only managed to cover up and perpetuate this destruction.

British firms not only controlled 80 per cent of the established ‘logging lands’ in Thailand, but they also influenced the establishment of the Royal Forest Department, which came to have total power over the nation’s forests. Massive land grabs and various colonial laws made half the country’s territory into a colony of the central state.
What a certain historiography terms civilizational expansion or capital’s expansion has in fact been the invasion and de-territorialization of peoples and communities using much epistemic and territorial violence. Concessions have been granted in areas that are not demographic voids, a colonial concept that ignores the fact that they have been populated for millennia.

The Balik People will bear the impacts of the plans to build a New Capital City mega-project in Borneo, Indonesia. Government officials and business elites in the country are certainly among those who will enjoy the benefits.
Available in Bahasa Indonesia.

The Sangha region is entirely under the control of three concessions that have colonial origins and continue to deploy guards against the forest inhabitants to prevent them using their ancestral lands.

Balsa wood is an important input for windmills. Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of this wood. The invasion of millions of wind turbines in China, Europe and the US means the extraction of metals to build them, as well as the brutal felling of balsa wood trees. 

The government of Indonesia endorsed the criticized Omnibus Law by saying that it is “crucial to attract investment and ultimately create jobs.” The Law is a direct attack on the territories and communities resisting the increasing destruction that has been ongoing for decades in Indonesia. (Available in Indonesian).

Communities have a long history of confronting the disasters imposed by corporations and elites. For them, the “emergency” was a reality well before the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, profit-seekers are abusing the situation to advance land grabs and roll back legislation.

From its first day in office, the government led by Jair Bolsonaro has been trying to undermine the constitutional rights of Indigenous Peoples and quilombola communities in Brazil. WRM spoke with the organization CIMI in the Western Amazon.

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.

“Shock” is a common reaction when a crisis emerges… or when it comes to light. However, it also provides a convenient smoke screen for governments, financial institutions and companies behind which they can hide their own role in and responsibility for the current crises in the forests.

It is impossible to think about extraction without thinking about a vast network of accompanying infrastructure, and thus even greater deforestation and destruction.

We live in an age of ever more “extreme infrastructure.” The construction of roads, railway lines and other infrastructure linking production and resource extraction centres with major consumer areas is tied to profoundly undemocratic forms of elitist planning.