In Senegal, 63% of disputes related to private sector land and natural resource investments in Africa began when communities were forced to leave their lands, according to new research released by TMP Systems and the Rights and Resources Initiative.
In West Africa, plantation agriculture—especially palm oil projects—drive a majority of disputes. Community displacement was the primary driver of 70 percent of the tenure disputes examined, while issues related to compensation were the primary driver for 30 percent. Sixty percent of the tenure disputes resulted in work stoppages, which impact companies’ and investors’ profits, and 30 percent resulted in violence.
researchers noted that the Fanaye biofuel plantation project on Senegal’s northwest border was implemented without the consent of local communities. In one case, violent protests in Fanaye Dieri led to the death of two community members and compelled the government to revoke the concession and move it 30 kilometers to the east, to the Ndiael Nature Reserve. But the new location cut off local cattle farmers from their grazing lands, triggering additional conflict. After six years, the concession currently uses only 1,500 hectares out of the 20,000 allocated by the government.
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