At the Oil and Money conference in London last year, Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden was worried that his audience might think that Shell had “gone soft” on oil and gas. He was keen to reassure them that, “Shell’s core business is, and will be for the foreseeable future, very much in oil and gas.”
“The operations of Green Resources — a Norwegian industrial forestry plantation and a carbon offsets company — have resulted in loss of lands, livelihoods and increased hunger for the local communities at Kachung and Bukaleba — its two sites in Uganda.”
In India, when an area of forest land is cleared, an equivalent area of land has to be afforested. Since 2006, the government has imposed a fee on companies that clear forests for mining, industry, or other projects. The money goes into the Compensatory Afforestation Fund. The Compensation Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) is the organisation responsible for overseeing this afforestation. But the money collected was largely unused.
Green Resources is a Norwegian company that claims to be “Africa’s largest forestation company.” The company has established a total of 45,000 hectares of industrial plantations in Africa. It also generates carbon credits from its plantations.
On 5 February 2013, Asia Pulp and Paper announced a Forest Conservation Policy. This included an immediate stop to clearing forest in any concessions controlled by APP and its suppliers. It was a dramatic change in policy for a company that is responsible for destroying vast areas of forest in Indonesia.
A German company called Global Woods is planting more than 8,000 hectares of pine plantations in the Kikonda Forest Reserve, Uganda. The company claims that its monoculture plantations produce “sustainable timber”. But the project is controversial. Farmers had to move to make way for the plantations, and have an ever smaller area to grow their food.
Green Resources is a Norwegian company with plantations in Africa. According to the company, its plantation operations follow, “high international practice for sustainable forest management, ESG [environmental, social and corporate governance] responsibilities and carbon sequestration”.
The Government of India is proposing to lease 40% of the country’s forests, classified as “degraded”, to private companies to improve and restore forest landscapes. Earlier this week, the All India Forum of Forest Movements (AIFFM) put out a statement opposing this proposed privatisation of India’s forests.