Legal Land Theft

This editorial aims to raise a high alert with regard to the corporate agendas that dominate international forest-related processes, which appear to be entering new phases. The decisions taken have very real impacts on forest communities.

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 contradictions between the ideals of concepts that originate from within international policy arenas and their implications for forests and forest peoples are clearly evident.

Language is never neutral. Certain concepts have historically been used to dominate people and territories. This article highlights concepts that are usually presented in a positive light but that actually serve economic interests that harm forests and communities.

The control of genetic resources (non-human living organisms that humans can make use of) through property rights has caused a massive theft of forest peoples’ knowledge. A project called the Earth Bank of Codes aims for a global seizure of life for capital accumulation.

This bulletin highlights threats involved in the so-called “energy transition,” and exposes its dirty secret of exponential expansion of mining in the global South as a consequence of the massive demand for “green” energy.

“Shock” is a common reaction when a crisis emerges… or when it comes to light. However, it also provides a convenient smoke screen for governments, financial institutions and companies behind which they can hide their own role in and responsibility for the current crises in the forests.

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?

The government claims that small-scale agriculture is responsible for deforestation. But this claim ignores government policies that drive land-use changes and destructive markets as well as the exclusion of indigenous peoples through the creation of reserves.

Indigenous peoples in Cameroon are not only seeing their lands threatened due to strong pressure from corporate and state investors, but they also face a discriminatory justice system that blames and criminalizes them.

REDD+ has shown to be a big failure for the climate, the forests and forest peoples, but many international agencies and governments continue to support it. This article takes a look at its inability to halt deforestation and the fundamental flaws of its main initiatives.