As in previous years, this September 21 will be observed around the world as the International Day Against Tree Monocultures. The day is aimed at raising awareness and strengthening opposition to the expansion of these “green deserts” of trees by highlighting the impacts of this production model on the millions of people affected by them.
Issue 158 – September 2010
International Day Against Tree Monocultures
TREE MONOCULTURES IN THE SOUTH
29 September 2010The history of the last 500 years on the African continent is a history of the plunder of its resources and the violent exploitation of its peoples by foreign powers (particularly European) who accumulated wealth at the cost of the suffering (and death) of millions of Africans and the destruction of their resources. The riches discovered by the first European navigators to reach the coasts of Africa spurred the various European powers of the day (Portugal, Spain, England, France, Germany, Belgium) to invade the continent and subjugate its peoples through armed force, eventually perpetrating the ultimate theft of claiming the right of ownership over these lands, and even over the people living there, who were traded as slaves.
29 September 2010“The crucial characteristic of monocultures is that they do not merely displace alternatives, they destroy their own basis. They are neither tolerant of other systems, nor are they able to reproduce themselves sustainably.” So wrote Vandana Shiva in her classic 1993 essay “Monocultures of the Mind.” Monocultures exist to increase productivity of one product, whether that product is rubber, woodchips, timber, palm oil, cassava or sugar. But while productivity increases from the commercial perspective, productivity decreases from the perspective of local communities. Woodchips, pulp and monocultures
29 September 2010The territories that make up what is known today as Latin America have two main features in the eyes of big corporations and business conglomerates: they encompass vast areas of land, and they are a source of highly coveted commodities: wood, palm oil, commercial crops, meat, wool, raw materials for agrofuels, genetic resources, land, water. As such, they are a magnet for big capital.