Legal Land Theft
In most countries with tropical forests, governments uphold the colonial legacy that declared the State to be the owner of forest lands. This has enabled governments to legally grant land to private investors, often violating communities' customary ownership of the land. As a result, corporate activities that destroy forests continue to expand.
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WRM spoke with close allies from Brazil, Gabon, India, Mexico and Mozambique, to hear from them and learn about their understandings of development.
Funds from the Compensatory Afforestation scheme have been allocated for Covid-19 relief measures. The scheme has funded plantations that invade community land and has led to illegal evictions where “Protected Areas” have been declared. This has not stopped during the lockdown.
This study looks at how Compensatory Afforestation is accelerating both, the destruction of forests in India by big corporations and the appropriation of community land for the supposed compensation.
Village assemblies in Korchi, along with resistance against mining, are actively engaged in reimagining and reconstructing local governance. Women’s collectives have also started to assert their voice in these emerging decision-making spaces. (Available in Swahili).
India’s programme to compensate for the destruction of forests for development projects is routinely setting up monoculture tree plantations on community commons. Women, who are mostly affected, are at the centre of its resistance.