An investment fund-backed plantation in northern Mozambique, founded using land acquired from local villagers, learns the hard way what happens when not everyone is happy with the land acquisition:
But about a year after Chikwetiâ€™s launch, reports of arson and uprooted saplings began to emerge. Chikweti estimates that between 2007 and 2012, the company lost US$1 million to fires – 60 percent of these fires are thought to have been criminal and the remainder accidental. The highest number of fires to date occurred in 2012.
A September 2012 report by the human rights group FIAN said, â€śIn April 2011, peasants from Licole and Lipende uprooted and cut down some 60,000 pine trees on an area of 12 hectares with machetes and hoes, and destroyed some [company] equipment.â€ť Several people from the local community were subsequently arrested.
The answer? The plantation starts paying for some local public goods, such as schools. For the arson, an incentive scheme:
As part of the fundâ€™s terms, the community receives $5 for each hectare that is not burned or vandalized.
â€śThe fires are not always started by people in the communities where we work; it can be done by neighbouring communities in order to harm people they are upset with or because of jealousy,â€ť Bekker said.
I would be interested in knowing how they settled on $5.