On this September 21st, a message of solidarity and homage to the communities, community-based organisations and activists who are fighting in many different ways and places to stop monoculture tree plantations.
Industrial monoculture plantations of eucalyptus, acacia, rubber, oil palm, pine or teak trees stand for huge profits for those companies that invest in them. But for communities living in and around industrial plantations they stand for massive invasion of their land; destruction of forests, water sources and livelihoods. Industrial tree plantations are also linked with many forms of violence, especially against women.
In many places, communities, community-based organisations and activists are fighting to stop them. Today, we want to highlight the huge efforts they make, despite criminalization and persecution. Some are able to halt the advance of plantations, others reclaim their land back from companies. All these struggles of resistance are united in their unambiguous message that says NO to industrial monoculture tree plantations.
In times where the plantation companies continue expanding tree monocultures on all continents, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America, these manifold voices of resistance against corporate control over community land are crucial. Companies continue to make the false claim that tree monocultures are forests. They falsely suggest that these large-scale monocultures could be beneficial to communities – when in reality the benefits accrue first and foremost to the companies with communities bearing the cost of lost livelihoods, destroyed forests and water sources and exposure to agrotoxins and violence. Companies use ever new strategies and tactics to invade community land. Now they even make the preposterous claim that monoculture tree plantations can help solve the global climate crisis.
The International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations was created in 2004 in Brazil. Not during an international conference in a big city, but during a meeting of communities facing large-scale eucalyptus plantations. They decided to dedicate September 21st as the day of coordinated actions and activities to give particular visibility to the invasive, destructive and violent character of industrial plantations. A Day to celebrate the victories, as well as to highlight the diversity of their struggles, resistances and alliance-building.
Our solidarity and homage to all of you – women, men, elders and youth – who in many different ways and places make tireless efforts to defend life, to resist and to struggle against monoculture tree plantations!
Plantations are not forests!!!
September 21st, 2018.
WRM International Secretariat Team