Last update:
2016-10-06

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
Name of conflict:Forest plantation by Green Resources in Kachung, Uganda
Country:Uganda
State or province:Dokolo District
Location of conflict:Kachung
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local 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
Land acquisition conflicts
REDD/CDM
Specific commodities:Carbon 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:2,670
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:6000 farmers
Start of the conflict:01/01/1999
Company names or state enterprises:Green Resources from Norway - Timber extraction, forest products, forest plantations
Lango Forestry Company (LFC)
Relevant government actors:National Forest Authority (NFA), National Enviroment Management Authority (NEMA)
International and Finance InstitutionsForest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Swedish Energy Agency from Sweden
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:REDD Monitor
Global Forest Coalition
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Forms of mobilization:Creation 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-economical 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
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Development of alternatives:From 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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.

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

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]

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

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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”

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Last update06/10/2016
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