Carbon forestry and local livelihoods : a case study on poverty in Uganda

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

Abstract: Green Resources is one of the largest companies engaged in carbon forestry on the African continent. The Green Resources carbon forestry plantation in northern Uganda is a particularly interesting case in a Swedish perspective, because the Swedish Energy Agency is committed to buying its carbon emissions reductions within a clean development mechanism (CDM) project under the Kyoto protocol. This thesis examined how wealth is perceived and experienced by the villagers in the area surrounding the Green Resources plantation, and how different wealth groups perceive and have been affected by Green Resources interventions associated with the plantation. The analysis was performed using the sustainable livelihoods approach (SLA), which presents the main factors that affect people’s livelihoods and typical relationships between these. A qualitative approach was used, based on face-to-face interviews, focus group interviews, observations, wealth ranking, community mapping and a review of the literature. The thesis also examined whether the capitals concept from SLA can be applied to explain the livelihood effects of the plantation. The forms of capital considered were human, financial, natural, social and physical capital. Within these, there are different assets to which people have varying degrees of access, depending on the wealth group to which they belong. The findings revealed exclusion of the poorest from development activities in villages neighbouring the Green Resources plantation. A key reason found for this was that Green Resources operate without taking into consideration the different wealth groups among the villagers, and without a strategy for how it could reach out to the poorest regarding its commitment to poverty alleviation.

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