Communities on the Edge of Extraction: Palm Oil, Corporate Power and Indigenous Resistance

Communities on the Edge of Extraction: Palm Oil, Corporate Power and Indigenous Resistance

CHE Roundtable with Tom Younger

Wednesday 8th February 2017 1830-2030

CHE Library, 2nd Floor, The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Rd, Glasgow G51 3UU (near Govan underground station)
Booking essential: free, or pay what you can. All funds support our non-profit educational charitable work. We cannot offer these events without your support.
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Join us for our first roundtable of 2017. We expect a wide-ranging, frank and stimulating discussion: all are welcome to contribute.

Palm oil is increasingly found in a range of everyday items: foods, cosmetics, cleaning products and fuels. The expansion of large-scale oil palm plantations is responsible for dispossessing indigenous communities of their ancestral territories and has become a principal driver of deforestation.

In the Peruvian Amazon, indigenous peoples currently face multiple threats to their territories and livelihoods, ranging from the impacts of illegal gold mining to state-led, infrastructural ‘mega projects’, which are driving, in the words of one researcher, the ‘forced industrialisation’ of one of Earth’s critical ecosystems.

What are the ethical considerations of the products we consume containing palm oil? What are the causes and impacts of oil palm expansion? How are communities organising to defend their territories? What can we learn from these kinds of extractivist projects about the expansion of global capitalism?

Tom Younger recently returned from Pucallpa, in the Peruvian Amazon, where he was coordinating the Ecosocial Justice Program of Alianza Arkana, a local organisation which works with Shipibo communities to find regenerative solutions to the problems they face.

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The Centre for Human Ecology is an independent academic institute, network and registered charity based in Glasgow, Scotland, with an international membership of graduates and fellows. It exists to stimulate and support fundamental change towards ecological and social justice through education, action and research, drawing on a holistic, multidisciplinary understanding of environmental and social systems.