Green Resources’ pine plantation in Kachung. Photo: Kristen Lyons/The Oakland Institute.

A new briefing paper by The Oakland Institute brings forward evidence that the Norwegian forestry and carbon credit company, Green Resources, evicted villagers around their tree plantation in Kachung, Uganda. The Swedish Energy Agency purchases carbon credits from Green Resources. The establishment of the large-scaleplantation on land previously used by subsistence farmers has resulted in loss of land, livelihoods and created an on-going food security crisis for the local villagers. 

The Swedish Energy Agency reports to Swedish TV4 (in writing) that it considers Green Resources to be compliant to the Agency’s reform demands for the local villagers.

Green Resources also has new majority shareholders, the public development institutions of Norway and Finland – Norfund and Finnfund – which rescued it from bankruptcy in July 2018. These institutions are aware of the land grab, yet continue to finance the project despite Green Resources’ abuse against the communities at Kachung.

Oakland Institute releases company documents in its briefing paper – including letters showing that villagers have been evicted fom the plantations. 

The briefing paper also exposes the complicity of the international certification body Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which is supposed to verify the company’s compliance with environmental and social standards. The FSC audit report from 2016 has omitted the impact of the land grab despite of an ongoing lawsuit where the villagers in Kachung sued Green Resources and the National Forest Authority.

Frédéric Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute, said in a press release (Oakland Institute):

“Based on flawed audits, the accreditation Green Resources received from the certification agencies calls into question their commitment to social and environmental standards. In the name of fighting climate change, they claim that a large-scale plantation of non-native pine trees, which are to be cut and sold as timber, is preferable to subsistence activities of African farmers. As thousands of Ugandan villagers struggle to survive after the loss of their land and natural resources to the plantation, the institutions and government agencies that enable Green Resources to operate must be held accountable for their wrongdoings and their complicity in this land grab.”

“Beyond the need for accountability, that such a flawed project could run with the backing of three European governments, several international bodies, and specialized private auditing firms, raises serious questions around the true motives of these institutions as well as the purpose and the functioning of the whole carbon economy,” Mousseau concluded.

Read the Oakland Institute report Evicted for Carbon Credits: Norway, Sweden, and Finland Displace Ugandan Farmers for Carbon Trading

See the news feature from Swedish TV4 here (only in Swedish).