CCSI and Social Justice Initiatives hosted a discussion with John Nelson, Africa Regional Coordinator of Forest Peoples Project, focusing on corporate accountability, development, and human rights. Drawing from his three decades of experience working in Africa, John led an interactive discussion using real life examples from Central and West Africa. In particular, the discussion explored the legal issues and implications tied to community-company interactions.
About Forest Peoples Programme
Forests cover 12% of the planet and nearly all are inhabited. Many of the peoples, who live in and have customary rights to their forests, have developed ways of life and traditional knowledge that are attuned to their forest environments. Yet, forest policies commonly treat forests as empty lands controlled by the state and available for ‘development’ – colonisation, logging, plantations, dams, mines, oil wells, gas pipelines and agribusiness. These encroachments often force forest peoples out of their forest homes. Many conservation schemes to establish wilderness reserves also deny forest peoples’ rights. Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) advocates an alternative vision of how forests should be managed and controlled, based on respect for the rights of the peoples who know them best. FPP works with forest peoples in South America, Africa, and Asia, to help them secure their rights, build up their own organisations and negotiate with governments and companies as to how economic development and conservation are best achieved on their lands.