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.

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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)Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
REDD/CDM
Specific CommoditiesCarbon offsets
Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsGreen 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.

In 1999, Green Resources obtained a license for 2,670hectares of land in the Kachung Central Forest Reserve in Northern Uganda from the National Forestry Authority. Trees are planted on 2,100 hectares of land, while 530 hectares are used for conservation purposes and the remaining 73 hectares for infrastructure building.

The plantation was verified as an aforestation and reforestation (A/R) CDM project in 2012. In addition, it is validated under the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance Standard (CCBA) and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The first carbon credits were sold as Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) to the Swedish Energy Agency for $4 million in 2012 and 2013. The project is estimated to deliver 30,000 tCO2e carbon credits in 2012 and 240,000 in 2017.

Fourteen villages are located directly adjacent to the project area. Communities that live along the border of the Kachung forest have lost their access and use rights to the forest.

Reports indicate that the borders of the licensed area are protected with force, and community members are arrested for reason of trespassing. Expansions of the plantation of 530 hectares has led to new conflicts in 2011 and 2012. The level of encroachment on the licensed area is put by the NFA at 10%.

Environmental degradation as a consequence of the use of agrochemicals in the plantation. Biodiverse ecosystems with indigenous trees are cleared to make space for non-native pine and eucalyptus trees that are planted in monocultures.

Ten percent of Green Resources' profits go to community development projects in the area of sanitation, health, education and income generation with mixed results. In total 264 community members are employed by Green Resources, the majority of which receiving an income of less than one dollar per day.
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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