Legal Land Theft

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.

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.

Electric cars have become the symbol of the ‘low carbon’ economy. As an item of consumption first and foremost for the wealthy, the negative impacts of the required minerals and metals that are extracted are frequently downplayed.

While the concept of ‘Nature Based Solutions’ has eagerly been seized upon by polluting industries, financial institutions and governments, its origins lie somewhere else.

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

For the world’s richest men, the environmental crisis has finally arrived. From fleeing into outer space or fantasylands to science-fiction solutions, capitalists desperately seek fossil-fuelled business as usual to continue.

Polluting corporations tell stories about reaching “Net-Zero” emissions while planning to continue, or even increase, destruction and exploitation. Offsets are at the centre of these stories. Of late, offsetting is also being championed by the financial industry.

The tactics and strategies employed to impose land control and extractive operations in the forests are many. Most of these tactics and strategies are criminal acts.

The boundary lines between the “legitimate” and the “criminal” have long been paper thin. Indeed, mainstream capitalist enterprise arguably only prospers because its particular forms of looting, theft, fraud and cheating have been blessed with the holy water of “legality”.

How are forest crimes defined? In Thailand, forest-dependant communities, rather than the government and companies carrying out large-scale deforestation, became scapegoats for this destruction. (Available in Thai).

This bulletin seeks to warn about the strategies used by those imposing themselves on territories with the development flag. They increasingly work in alliance with financial capital—which they see as a partner, and which they reinforce with public resources.