Myth No. 8: Certification ensures that plantations are socially beneficial and environmentally sustainable

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In the area of tree plantations, the FSC has become the main body responsible for granting a certificate to plantations assessed as “environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable.”

The insurmountable problem of this “green seal” granted by the FSC is that it certifies what intrinsically can never be either socially beneficial or environmentally sustainable: large scale monoculture tree plantations.

In Uruguay, one after another, the companies that have requested certification have achieved it, but the negative impacts continue and worsen as plantations – certified or not – cover increasingly vaster expanses of land in different parts of the country. There is no shortage of statements bearing witness to the consequences of tree plantations on local communities: territorial occupation, concentration and “foreignization” of land, displacement of communities and of other forms of production, lack of water, soil erosion, loss of food sovereignty, just to mention some of these negative impacts. However, the FSC continues to certify those plantations.

Certification therefore does no less than legitimate the expansion of plantations, greenwashing them, while weakening the struggles of those who resist on a local, national, regional and international level.

The only socially beneficial and environmentally sustainable measure regarding monoculture tree plantations is to stop their expansion.

Elizabeth Díaz, Grupo Guayubira, Uruguay