Struggles for the Forests

Plantation companies often argue that local populations are destroying the forests, particularly where people depend on firewood and/or charcoal for their energy needs. Thus, they argue, industrial plantations can “sustainably” provide this wood. But this is simply not true.

For the past eighty years, the Maasai have been displaced and dispossessed of their land, livelihoods, and more in Northern Tanzania, all under the guise of “conservation.” This article traces the origins of this dispossession through to present day struggles, calling for international solidarity.

Before, conservation organizations were focused on raising money to create protected areas in forests supposedly threatened with destruction; today, they constitute a bona fide transnational “industry” that manages and controls areas that go far beyond forests.

Despite the many profound damages that industries cause in the world's forests, they also cause something else to emerge: the strong and diverse resistance movements of affected communities defending their territories, livelihoods, cultures and even their existence. The struggle continues! (Available in Swahili).

At first glance, the Nzivi village is a village as many others in the area. But a big difference is that it does not allow investors for large-scale activities, such as monoculture tree plantations. Green Resources is the main private plantation company active in Tanzania. (Available in Swahili).