International Day against Monoculture Tree Plantations

ECOTERRA observed this day by planting a thousand self-raised non-GM seedlings of endangered indigenous trees as enrichment planting in the lands of a people, who were and are the guardians of their forests in Kenya since thousands of years. Not enough we believe, but if you think likewise then extend your support to people near you, who do just do the same. Traditional communities together with the global movement againt GM-trees and monocultures shall overcome the mafia of the corporate smokescreeners.

21 September

International Day against Monoculture Tree Plantations

Planting trees is not always a good thing to do. It depends on the objective, the scale, the location of the plantation and the benefits or damages involved for the local population.

Large-scale monoculture tree plantations that have been promoted in the countries of the South with fast-growing species, such as eucalyptus and pine have generated considerable negative impacts, economically, socially and environmentally in the countries where they have been installed.

The Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations (Red Latinoamericana contra los Monocultivos de Árboles – RECOMA) an organization involving members from 16 countries, has been denouncing, inter alia, displacements of rural populations, loss of sources of work, appalling working conditions, the destruction of forests and other ecosystems, soil erosion, depletion and contamination of water.

In May 2004, the Brazilian "Network against the Green Desert" that has a considerable track record of resistance to tree plantations, held its 3rd National Meeting in the city of Bello Horizonte. On that occasion it decided to select the 21 September, National Tree Day, as a significant date to commemorate the struggle against monoculture tree plantations.

Convened by RECOMA, organizations from the whole region are adhering to this commemoration and will carry out various mobilizations.

In Brazil, the students of the Federal University have organized a mobilization to take place on that date in the capital of the State of Espirito Santo, with the participation of representatives of affected groups to denounce the workers’ situation and encroachment of the lands of the local communities by monoculture tree plantations.

In Argentina, in the Province of Entre Ríos the negative impacts of monoculture tree plantations will be given dissemination by the press and in the Province of Misiones native species will be planted as a symbolic way of rejecting the monoculture of exotic species that is covering the province.

Uruguay is joining in this celebration with an exhibition at the City Hall Esplanade, with the distribution of information, videos will be shown on a gigantic screen. they will include the impacts of monoculture tree plantations and the situation of Uruguayan forestry workers, prepared by the Association of Labour Inspectors of Uruguay.

For those of us who believe that "another world is possible", governmental policy must make a radical change. It must cease its support of monoculture tree plantation companies and centre its support on the men and women who live in rural environments to enable them to improve their quality of life, while ensuring environmental quality.

For more information:

Ana Filippini,
RECOMA Secretariat,
World Rainforest Movement
Montevideo - Uruguay Phones: (5982) 413 2989 - 410 0985

This statement is distributed by the Timberwatch Coalition in South Africa, in solidarity with RECOMA. In South Africa, industrial timber plantations bring similar hardship and suffering to rural communities. Destruction of valuable grasslands, depletion of water resources, and displacement of people from their traditional lands are ongoing due to the insatiable desire of the timber industry to make ever larger profits at the expense of more sustainable and less environmentally damaging land-use activities. Wally Menne (Chairperson) Timberwatch Coalition Tel: +27 (0) 82-4442083 Fax: +27 (0) 31-2019958 Box 30577, Mayville, 4058, South Africa E-mail: plantnet@iafrica.com URL: http://www.timberwatch.org.za



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September 2005

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