World Bank and UN carbon offset scheme 'complicit' in genocidal land grabs

03/07/2014 18:49

Source: The Guardian

 

 

Plight of Kenya's indigenous Sengwer shows carbon offsets are empowering corporate recolonisation of the South


UN's REDD scheme promises carbon offsetting will empower local communities in the developing world while conserving forests - but critics say the scheme is fuelling genocidal evictions of indigenous people from their lands. Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP

 

Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 500 million acres of land in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean was acquired or negotiated under deals brokered on behalf of foreign governments or transnational corporations.

Many such deals are geared toward growing crops or biofuels for export to richer, developed countries – with the consequence that small-holder farmers are displaced from their land and lose their livelihood while local communities go hungry.

The concentration of ownership of the world's farmland in the hands of powerful investors and corporations is rapidly accelerating, driven by resource scarcity and, thus, rising prices. According to a new report by the US land rights organisation Grain: "The powerful demands of food and energy industries are shifting farmland and water away from direct local food production to the production of commodities for industrial processing."

Less known factors, however, include 'conservation' and 'carbon offsetting.'

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