This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit Libération. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
The Norwegian company Green Resources, which was granted part of the Bukaleba forest in 1989 to create an ecological plantation, is increasingly criticized. In the name of carbon offsetting, populations have been driven off their land and their soil polluted.
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Wamuko Idi, an old man with a tanned face, stands up, leaning on the back of his chair as if on a cane, and says, his thin body trembling with anger: "The government told us to plant the trees, we bought the seeds, then the company came and forced us to leave. We were also the ones who did the weeding before they drove us out." His stream of words is almost continuous: "They didn't give us any compensation. Now their security guards are beating up women and children who want to go into the forest. I have relatives who are in prison for collecting firewood. We have almost no land to survive on. We need help …"