Where Tires Grow on Stolen Land
By John Schertow
January 30, 2009
In May 2007, the transnational company Michelin, the world’s second
largest producer of tires, was granted rights to more than 3,500
hectares of land in Nigeria’s Iguobazuwa Forest Reserve.
“[The] Iguobazuwa Fore
st Reserve has been described in time past asone of the forest and biodiversity-richregions of Nigeria. AroundIguobazuwa, more than 20,000agrarian people live. They depend onthe forest for their daily livelihoodsand furthermore they used to havetheir farmlands around the forests to
cultivate the land,” explains a recent
report by the World RainforestMovement (WRM).Soon after the company arrived itbegan to bulldoze the region,eventually depriving the localpopulation of their livelihoods, theforest and their communal farmlands. As many as nine communitieswere left with nothing.Since then, several members of the communities have attempted tospeak up, but without much success.