Project October 15, 2021

India: The False Promises of Reforestation



One of India's commitments in the Paris Agreement at COP21 is to create a “carbon sink” of 3 gigatonnes of CO2 by 2030, through the extension of its "forest cover."

The authorities argue that this is possible due to a compensation system: Companies cutting trees must pay large sums to finance afforestation elsewhere. This gave rise to a huge public fund, called CAMPA, which today holds $16 billion.

But the system that controls this reforestation is failing. In fact, there is rather massive deforestation in India, which is in constant search of new land to feed its economic and demographic expansion.

This investigation reveals how destroyed primary forests are replaced by commercial monoculture like palm oil, which absorbs very little carbon but is still included in the "forest cover" of India.

It covers areas of deforestation of primary forest like the Mollem sanctuary in Goa, and explores the projects carried out by CAMPA, in the region of Telangana and Chhattisgarh, to understand whether they are helping to create a carbon sink.

This project will include a long audio report for Radio France Internationale, a print investigation for Libération, a video report for Mediapart, and a web version for Reporterre.