Forest plantation by Green Resources in Kachung, Uganda

Green Resources sells carbon credits after converting grassland, savanna and small-scale cultivated land into non-native tree plantations. This has a tremendous impact on local population and environment. It has been described as "carbon violence".


Description
Green Resources has two plantations in Uganda: Bukaleba and Kachung. According to the company, both plantations have been established within government-owned Central Forest Reserves that have been set aside for forest plantations. The history is this: in 1999, the Norwegian company "Green Resources" acquired a 50-year license to 2,670 hectares of land in the government-owned Kachung Central Forest Reserve in Northern Uganda. Local inhabitants have been violently forced off their land while others are denied access to the land to grow food, graze animals and engage in cultural practices. Furthermore, pollution of the land due to the use of agrochemicals in the plantation is reported. On 3 November 2015, the Swedish Energy Agency announced that it was freezing future payments to Green Resources, following a programme on Sweden’s TV4 Kalla Fakta about the problems that the plantations are causing for local communities. The programme particularly focusses on conflicts over land rights. The TV4 programme, “The Forbidden Forest” is well worth watching. While Green Resources is a Norwegian company with a total of 45,000 hectares of plantations in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda, the Green Resources’ plantations in Kachung, Uganda are registered under the Clean Development Mechanism and the company sells carbon credits generated from its plantation operations. On 22 July 2011, the Swedish Energy Agency signed a US$4 million emissions reductions purchase agreement for approximately 365,000 carbon credits from Green Resources’ Kachung Forest Project in Uganda. According to a REDD Monitor report of March 2016, Green Resources converts grassland, savanna and small-scale cultivated land into non-native tree plantations. This has a tremendous impact on the local environment and the ecosystem services it provides. Also, uncertainties remain in the potential of tree plantations to sequester carbon. Studies show a general pattern of a decrease in ecosystem carbon pools in tree plantations relative to natural forests. In-depth information based on the recent research can be found in the document “Impacts of Green Resources’ tree plantations at Kachung, Uganda”. Including in the Oakland Institute report “The Darker Side of Green” (2014). Also see Swedwatch’s “Lessons learned from Kachung” (2015).
Basic Data
NameForest plantation by Green Resources in Kachung, Uganda
CountryUganda
ProvinceDokolo District
SiteKachung
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)REDD/CDM
Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific CommoditiesCarbon offsets
Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
Green Resources is the largest plantation forestry company in Africa (outside of South Africa) and has plantations in Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique. In the last 10 years, 40,000 hectares of forest plantations were planted with an investment sum of $125 million.
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Project Area (in hectares)2,670
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population6000 farmers
Start Date01/01/1999
Company Names or State EnterprisesGreen Resources from Norway - Timber extraction, forest products, forest plantations
Lango Forestry Company (LFC)
Relevant government actorsNational Forest Authority (NFA), National Enviroment Management Authority (NEMA)
International and Financial InstitutionsForest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Swedish Energy Agency from Sweden
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersREDD Monitor

Global Forest Coalition
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
International ejos
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Potential: Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Specific impacts on women
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (undecided)
Development of AlternativesFrom the March 2016 REDD Monitor report:

We the undersigned, demand the following actions to be taken by the Swedish Energy Agency and the Government of Sweden:

The carbon credit purchase contract with Green Resources should be cancelled outright because the Kachung carbon offset plantation project is deeply flawed in nearly all respects.



The Swedish Energy Agency should also take action to recover all of the money already paid to Green Resources plus legal costs, and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the Kachung plantation is de-registered as a CDM activity.

The local communities displaced and disadvantaged through this project should be compensated for all of their losses and allowed to return to the land after Green Resources has removed all of its ‘fake forests’ and restored the people’s homes, crops and/or the natural vegetation.



Sweden should cut its greenhouse gas emissions at home by finding ways to reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency, as well as increasing carbon storage in Swedish forests by protecting old natural forests and bringing degraded forests back to a more natural state, instead of transferring its guilt and responsibility to poor communities in Africa, and enriching the land-grabbing shareholders of Green Resources AS.



Amanda Tas, Protect the Forest

Wally Menne, Timberwatch

Associate Professor Kristen Lyons

Senior Research Fellow – Oakland Institute

Simone Lovera, Executive Director,

Global Forest Coalition

Dr Adrian Nel, Senior Lecturer,

School of Agriculture, Earth and Environmental Science. University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.It might be that Green Resources will be unable to sell its "carbon credits" because of the scandal surrounding the Kachung tree plantation project.
Sources and Materials
References

The Oakland Institute (2014). The Darker Side of Green. Plantation Forestry and Carbon Violence in Uganda. The Case of Green Resources' Forestry-Based Carbon Markets
[click to view]

Lyons, Kirsten & Westoby, Peter (2014). Carbon Marktes and the New 'Carbon Violence': A Ugandan Study. International Journal of African Renaissance Studies. 9(2): 77-94.

Bondevik, Susanne (2013). Carbon Forestry and Trading: A Case Study of Green Resources in Uganda. Master Thesis.
[click to view]

Green Resources (2012). Company Report.
[click to view]

Links

Lessons learned from Kachung. The Swedish Energy Agency has faced criticism for its purchase of ‘carbon credits’ from a pine tree plantation in Kachung in Uganda.
[click to view]

NGOs call for the Swedish Energy Agency to cancel carbon credit purchase from Green Resources’ monoculture plantations in Uganda, full report in March 2016.
[click to view]

Media Links

Sweden’s TV4 Kalla Fakta about the problems that the Kachung plantations are causing for local communities. The programme particularly focusses on conflicts over land rights. Subtitled in English, TV4 programme, “The Forbidden Forest”

Other Documents

[click to view]

Meta Information
Last update06/10/2016
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