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.
- Africa (general)
- America (general)
- Asia (general)
- Central African Republic
- Congo DR
- Congo R
- Costa Rica
- Cote d'Ivoire
- East Timor
- Equatorial Guinea
- Europe (general)
- Oceania (general)
- Papua New Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- United Kingdom
- United States
Offsets: Feeding the Illusion of a (Sustainable) (Green) (Carbon Neutral) (Nature-Based) (Net-zero emissions) Capitalism
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.
WRM spoke with close allies from Brazil, Gabon, India, Mexico and Mozambique, to hear from them and learn about their understandings of development.
A Different Vision of “Doing Conservation:” The Kawsak Sacha of the Kichwa People of Sarayaku, Ecuador
Most governments, NGOs and corporations are promoting more Protected Areas and conservation areas around the world. But what does conservation mean? Marlon Santi of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku explains to us what the Amazonian peoples of Ecuador consider to be conservation.
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.
DR Congo: Communities take back control over land stolen from them and urge the oil palm company Feronia to confirm their announcement to “abandon” the land
More than 100 years ago, lands were stolen from communities in DR Congo for industrial oil palm production. Since 2009, those lands are under control of the company FERONIA.
The environmental, climatic and social crisis has been a reality for many for a long time. Yet, rather than acknowledging their contribution to this crisis, corporations and allies use the pandemic to amplify their push to expand Protected Areas, presenting it as a "global solution".
The conservation industry’s plan to double the size of Protected Areas (PAs) is supposed to be the solution to biodiversity loss, climate change, and now even COVID-19! Although PAs will solve none of these, if the conservation industry keeps repeating a big lie, people will eventually come to believe it.