The Southern African organization GeaSphere has produced the online video “Earth Matters” which can be viewed (in two parts) athttp://www.wrm.org.uy/Videos/Earth_Matters.html
In this video, Philip Owen of GeaSphere describes the social and environmental impacts of high impact, fast rotation timber plantations in Southern Africa. Philip’s explanations, coupled with other testimonies and impressive images of alien tree monocultures –as well as natural grassland and forest ecosystems- provide a clear picture on the disaster that these plantations have meant for local people and the native environment. The video describes water depletion, biodiversity loss and soil erosion caused by plantations as well as their incapacity for providing employment opportunities to local populations. Philip highlights that –in spite of all those impacts- 80% of these plantations are FSC certified as “responsibly managed forests”, thus making the FSC seal meaningless.
The video also explains that most of these plantations are aimed at exporting pulp for feeding overconsumption of paper and paper products in countries of the North. This means the installation of pulp mills to convert the plantations’ wood into pulp for export and the pollution resulting from these pulp mills that affect the local environment.
We encourage you to see and share this excellent video, particularly with people that are still unaware about the impacts of industrial tree monocultures.