FSC fails to uphold Indigenous Rights at Mount Elgon, Uganda

Since 1994, a Dutch organisation called the FACE Foundation has been planting trees in Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda. The FACE Foundation aims to sell carbon credits based on the amount of carbon stored in the trees planted. FACE aims to plant a total of 25,000 hectares of which 8,500 hectares has been planted.

In Uganda, the FACE Foundation works with the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA), the organisation responsible for managing Uganda’s National Parks.

In March 2002, SGS Qualifor certified the UWA-FACE project under the FSC system.

In July 2006, World Rainforest Movement and Climate Development Initiatives, a Ugandan NGO, visited some of the communities around Mount Elgon. I was shocked by what the villagers told us about UWA’s management of the National Park and the UWA-FACE foundation project: evictions, torture, humiliation, threats and destruction of crops. Some of the villagers had been shot at by UWA’s rangers. None of the villagers we spoke to had ever heard of FSC.

I’ve written a couple of articles for the World Rainforest Movement bulletin, here, and here. And an article with Timothy Byakola of Climate Development Initiatives for New Internationalistmagazine, here.

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