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TotalEnergies' Bateke plantation: a “cover up” for damaging oil production, Republique of the Congo

In an image cleanup operation TotalEnergies, with involvement of president Macron and the Republic of the Congo dictator, is planning a 40,000ha industrial plantation in the Bateke Plateaux which will wreck the native savanna landscape.


On the 16th of March of 2021, TotalEnergies announced a partnership with the french Forêt Ressources Management and the Republic of the Congo government to plant 40 million acacia trees over 40,000 hectares in the Bateke Plateau [1]. In exchange, TotalEnergies will pay $1,55 per hectare of plantation per year to the Congolese government [2].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:TotalEnergies' Bateke plantation: a “cover up” for damaging oil production, Republique of the Congo
Country:Congo, Rep.
State or province:Plateaux
Location of conflict:near Ngo
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific commodities:Land
Carbon offsets
Project Details and Actors
Project details

"Tree plantations are not true forests". The plans include 40,000,000 trees planted over 10 years in 40,000 ha. The trees will be cared for during 35 years [4]. The plantation will consist of acacia and cassava and by 2040 it will be managed to produce 160,000 cubic meters of wood products a year [3][6]. The plans also include a 2.5MW cogeneration plan presumably runing on wood not used for timber [1].

Project area:40,000
Level of Investment for the conflictive project230,000,000 [2]
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10,000 [2]
Start of the conflict:11/08/2021
Company names or state enterprises:Forêt Ressources Management (FRM) from France - It manages the plantation
TotalEnergies (TE) from France - Owner of the project
Relevant government actors:- President of France, Emmanuel Macron
- President of République du Congo, Denis Sassou-Nguesso
- Government of the République du Congo, Ministres des Finances et du Budget, de l’Economie forestière and des Affaires foncières, du domaine public et des relations avec le Parlement.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- CCFD-Terre Solidaire
- REDD Monitor
- Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez Congo
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Fires, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Other socio-economic impactsPotential violation of free, prior and informed consent rights of local population.
Project StatusUnder construction
Proposal and development of alternatives:The groups resisting the industrial plantation demand a stop to the project.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project continues its development unhindered.
Sources & Materials

[1] Counsell, S. 16/04/2021. Anatomy of a ‘Nature-Based Solution’: Total oil, 40,000 hectares of disappearing African savannah, Emmanuel Macron, Norwegian and French ‘aid’ to an election-rigging dictator, trees to burn, secret contacts, and dumbstruck conservationists. In REDD Monitor website.
[click to view]

[2] Kombo, F. 13/03/2021. Industrie forestière : Total investit 150 milliards FCFA dans la réserve de Léfini. In Agence d’Information d’Afrique Centrale.
[click to view]

[3] Mukpo, A. 20/01/2022. At a plantation in Central Africa, Big Oil tries to go net-zero. Ashoka Mukpo, Mongabay, January 2022
[click to view]

[4] TotalEnergies Press Release. 08/11/2021. Republic of the Congo: The Planting of More than One Million Trees Begins on the Batéké Plateaux.
[click to view]

[5] CCFD-Terre Solidaire. 30/10/2021. Compensation Carbone: Tout sauf neutre!
[click to view]

[6] Forêt Ressources Management website. BaCaSi project. Visited on 02/08/2022.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EJAtlas Team
Last update05/08/2022
Conflict ID:6108
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