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Story Publication logo November 15, 2021

They Cut Down our Forest to Grow Teak: In India, a Deceptive Kind of Reforestation (French)



To fight climate change, India claims it is increasing its forest cover. But the control mechanism...

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This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit Ouest France. 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.

Devjit Nandi (center) helps tribal people defend their natural forests from plantations. Image by Côme Bastin/Ouest France. India, 2021.

After a six-hour drive from the city of Bilaspur in east-central India, a plantation is protected by wooden fences. A sign indicates that the Campa River Development Fund has grown 27,500 trees.

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Ram Singh Bagaya, chief of Tumadabra village, is not happy. "There was already a forest here, where we grew millet. But they told us that we were not allowed to come anymore and they planted teak trees, which raise the temperature and dry out the land."

Villagers in Chhattisgarh state say Campa is planting on their land. Image by Côme Bastin/Ouest France. India, 2021.

A villager denounces the monoculture of teak on the land that the tribes used to cultivate. Image by Côme Bastin/Ouest France. India, 2021.