Legal Land Theft

In Brazil, oil palm plantations are expanding rapidly, mainly in the Amazonian state of Pará. BBF (Brasil BioFuels), the largest oil palm company in Brazil, stands accused of environmental crimes and violence against indigenous, quilombola and peasant communities such as Virgílio Serrão Sacramento, a community linked to the Small Farmers’ Movement (MPA).
A conversation with the president of the Volta Miúda Quilombola Association and of the Southernmost part of Bahia Quilombola Cooperative revealed how Suzano, the world’s largest paper and cellulose corporation, continues to operate with serious violations and illegalities. Communities keep fighting to reclaim their lands back.
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.
This text comes out of conversations with women from the Ribeira River Valley who have devoted themselves to opposing the concession of one of the region’s most important parks. Their struggle is fundamental, and part of diverse resistances against the privatizing trend of creating ‘territories without people’. They remind us that their territory has been and is rooted in their stories, voices and resistance.

This text shares reflections that emerged from our discussions with women impacted by Green Economy projects in Brazil.

WRM spoke with close allies from Brazil, Gabon, India, Mexico and Mozambique, to hear from them and learn about their understandings of development.

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.

Despite the government of Brazil announcing cutbacks to action against deforestation, the Green Climate Fund awarded US$ 96 million for alleged emission reductions in the Brazilian Amazon. These avoided emissions in part exist only on paper.

WRM spoke with Kum’tum, an indigenous man from the Akroá-Gamela people of Brazil. These are his reflections about their history and the current collective process that aims to rediscover and recover their roots, after having been dispossessed of their territory and community. (Available in Swahili).

A compilation of articles from the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin on the occasion of the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held 17 - 29 November, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.