Carbon colonialism and the new land grab: Plantation forestry in Uganda and its livelihood impacts
School of Social Science, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia; University of Free State, South Africa
Private sector investment has become increasingly central to development in the global south, and in recent years these interventions have taken a 'green' turn. This is demonstrated via investment in economic activities associated with environmental claims, including plantation forestry and carbon trading initiatives. Many of these green initiatives represent market-based responses to climate change that rely upon the implementation of mitigation strategies in the global south to offset industrial and polluting activities in the global north. In this paper we explore the activities of Green Resources, the largest plantation forestry operator on the African continent.Through an examination of the activities of Green Resources in Uganda, this paper argues that while private sector international investment in plantation forestry for carbon offsetting is widely supported as responding to the nation's environmental crisis, it is part of a carbon colonialism and neoliberal land grab. There are profound adverse local livelihood outcomes that arise on the basis of this carbon colonialism. After discussing these themes in turn, this paper concludes that the commodification and fetishing of carbon via global carbon markets disconnects northern-based carbon credit consumers from adverse local livelihood impacts for those living in, and adjacent to, forestry plantations. These impacts point to the limits of north-south market-based green development interventions as solutions to climate change. © 2014 .
emissions trading; environmental economics; investment; plantation forestry; private sector; privatization; agrarian change; carbon emission; climate change; colonialism; land market; pollution tax; Uganda