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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Communities in Nyanga province, Gabon, released the Bana / Mayumba Declaration in which they call for the suspension of the GRANDE MAYUMBA project, a multi-concession megaproject marketing as a so-called Nature-Based Solution.
WRM spoke with close allies from Brazil, Gabon, India, Mexico and Mozambique, to hear from them and learn about their understandings of development.
What are the experiences of communities living inside or adjacent to the plantation areas of companies with “zero deforestation” pledges? How can these companies continue expanding without deforesting in densely forested countries?
The Singapore-based OLAM company has secured access to 500 thousand hectares of land in Gabon to set up large-scale oil palm plantations, a country with 85% of forest coverage. How can OLAM then claim to follow a “zero deforestation” commitment?