Event “Turning forests into hotels” – April 15th, Brussels

SAVE THE DATE! April 15, 2 PM – Mundo B, Brussels

Re:Common and Counter Balance are glad to announce the event “Turning Forest into Hotels”, that will take place on Monday, April 15th at Mundo-B, Brussels.

Our new investigation exposes how a World Bank project that was supposed to protect biodiversity in Uganda is making the fortune of a few tourism companies, while pushing communities into food insecurity.

The event will feature a preview of “The Fall”, a Re:Common’s video exploring the impacts of a biodiversity offset project on local communities in Uganda, and a presentation of our latest report “Turning Forests into Hotels: the true cost of biodiversity offsetting in Uganda”.

2 PM, Mundo B (Conference Room)

Agenda

– Preview of The Fall

– Presentation of the report: Turning Forest into Hotels: the true cost of biodiversity offsetting in Uganda


Speakers

Alessandro Runci (Re:Common)

Jutta Kill (World Rainforest Movement)

Mamy Rakotondrainibe (Collective Tany)

Nele Marien (Friends of the Earth International)

Frederic Hache (Green Finance Observatory)

 

Background Information:

Marketed as a conservation mechanism, biodiversity offsetting is becoming the corporations’ master key to access territories that were previously off-limits to them.  By pushing the idea that the destruction of biodiversity in one place can be compensated through the protection of biodiversity elsewhere, companies are increasingly obtaining licenses to explore for oil, gas or minerals inside protected areas and national parks.

The Kalagala Biodiversity Offset, is being implemented by the Ugandan government with money and support from the World Bank. They sell it as a conservation  project that should compensate for the environmental destruction caused by the Bujagali dam. Yet, our field investigation unveiled that the offset is being used to develop tourism facilities on community’s land, while families have been forced to stop farming and fishing,  because their presence might “scare the tourists”, they were told…

The result is that tourists can now enjoy luxury, Nile-front suites and swimming pools, companies are making profits thanks to what they call eco-lodges, but families in Kalagala can no longer grow their food.

Whether they be for carbon or biodiversity, the purpose of offsetting is to enable the extractivist model to thrive, by way of legitimising environmental crimes and expand corporate power over communities and territories.
Stepping up resistance against these schemes, standing in solidarity with communities’ struggle in defense of their territories and ways of life, is essential to break paradigms of exploitation and injustice.

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