We live in times of warming. Perhaps the climate is the most obvious expression of an economic acceleration that has warmed up its engines, burning everything in its path. In just a few short decades, productivity has grown enormously. We have seen the emergence of economies of scale, an ever increasing accumulation of capital, a rising number of corporate mergers, the expansion of markets, globalization.
Issue 170 – September 2011
International Day of Struggle Against Tree Monocultures
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF STRUGGLE AGAINST TREE MONOCULTURES
30 September 2011On this International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations, the Latin American Network Against Monoculture Tree Plantations (RECOMA), a network of Latin American organizations with the basic objective of coordinating activities to oppose the expansion of large-scale monoculture tree plantations on a regional level, with representatives from several Latin American countries, in conjunction with other social organizations and activists, is launching an open call for opposition to the so-called New Generation Plantations Project (NGPP) promoted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), an international conservation organization. The call for opposition to the project states:
30 September 2011Industrial tree plantations have often expanded through direct land expropriation and through manipulative land purchase. But there is a third kind of mechanism by which such expansion indirectly occurs, a mechanism that is somehow less-known although it is probably as important – if not more – than the two previous ones: debt relations. This short article intends to shed some initial light on this mechanism with special reference to commercial tree crops in Indonesia. At the level of the small planter
30 September 2011Hundreds of trees of native species used by local communities – such as neem, lemon, sehjan, amla, jamun, mango, chironji and mahua – were symbolically planted in the District Court headquarters in Robertsganj, capital of the district of Sonbhadra in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on July 4, 2011 by tribal women to protest the tree plantation drive being undertaken by the Forest Department, with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
30 September 2011In the South East of Africa, Mozambique glimmers like a bright jewel in the African sunlight. The coastline stretches thousands of kilometres, the warm Indian Ocean feeding the abundance of life. Ragged tooth and Zambezi sharks patrol the coral reefs, alive with sounds in an underwater spectacle of a wide variety of colourful fish, manta rays and turtles. Line-fish, muscles, crabs, shrimps, prawns and crayfish, these rich food resources are available in Mozambique, and have been feeding the people for thousands of years. Inland we find the wetlands, fertile floodplains, freshwater lakes and rivers, filtering and delivering life giving water which enables agriculture and enterprise.
30 September 2011Oil palm has historically played an important role in Benin and oil palm plantations, as opposed to naturally occurring palm groves, were established in the 19th century to meet an increasingly greater demand for palm oil from Western countries, primarily to supply their soap factories.By this time, oil palm was grown on an estimated 500,000 hectares of land in Benin, and the processing of oil palm products was entirely manual, carried out by women small-scale producers.
30 September 2011On September 21st several activities will be coordinated around the world to celebrate the International Day of Struggle against Tree Plantations.
TO THE MEMORY OF OUR FRIEND RICARDO
30 September 2011Ricardo Carrere passed away in the early morning of August 16, 2011. He had been suffering from lung cancer for some time but wished to remain as discreet as possible about the evolution of the sickness. Everything accelerated in a few days and the sad news took us completely by surprise. We believe Ricardo Carrere will let an indelible stamp. First of all, for those of us who had the privilege of having met him, he embodied a rare combination of humility, generosity and kindheartedness. From him emanated a kind of juvenile freshness and an ability to listen to others. Two very rare qualities. He also always kept intact a form of contagious fervor about the worth of being an activist and a capacity to get indignant in front of any injustices.
30 September 2011This past August 16, as many of you know, we lost our dear friend and colleague Ricardo Carrere. While Ricardo’s passing has signified a huge loss for us, at the same time, he has left behind an extraordinary legacy. This has become clear to us through the countless messages we have received from longtime colleagues and friends. But we have also been struck by the many messages sent by people who met Ricardo only once or on just a few occasions. These contacts, no matter how brief, left a lasting impact on people, as is reflected in the article about Ricardo written by Julien-François Gerber and Sandra Veuthey, included in this issue.