In 1996, the Norwegian company "Green Resources" acquired a 50-year license to 9,165 hectares of land in the government-owned Bukaleba Central Forest Reserve.
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.
In 1996, Green Resources obtained a license for 9,165 hectares of land in the Bukaleba Central Forest Reserve in Eastern Uganda from the National Forestry Authority. Trees are planted on 5,780 hectares of land, and the remaining 3,385 hectares are to be maintained by Green Resources for conservation purposes. The project is expected to deliver 100,000 tCO2e in the period from 2012-to 2015. In the future Green Resources plans to sell additional carbon credits from a charcoal plant that has been established.
The plantation is verified as an afforestation and reforestation project unter the Verified Carbon Standard. It is also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Additional certification could not be obtained.
Four villages are still located within the licensed area, while at least twelve villages are affected by being located adjacent to the area. In total, 13 communities were displaced and have lost their access and use rights to the forest. Violent evictions from the land owned by Green Resources took place in the late 1990s, with community members accusing military, police, NFA staff and company staff of using excessive violence. Recent expansions of the plantation of 889 hectares has led to new evictions in 2011 and 2012. Local villagers contest the boundaries of the licensed area with reports of violent encroachment on community farm land by Green Resources. The borders of the licensed area are protected with force, and community members are arrested for reason of trespassing. The level of encroachment on the licensed area is put by the NFA at almost 50%.
Environmental degradation as a consequence of the use of agrochemicals in the plantation that end up in rivers and lakes is reported. Reports indicate that trees are planted and chemicals used illegally in the buffer zone close to water bodies. 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. 500 hectares of land inside the licensed area are promised as community land; however secure access has not been granted yet. In total 600 community members are employed by Green Resources, the majority of which receiving an income of less than one dollar per day.