Large-Scale Tree Plantations

Industrial tree plantations are large-scale, intensively managed, even-aged monocultures, involving vast areas of fertile land under the control of plantation companies. Management of plantations involves the use of huge amounts of water as well as agrochemicals—which harm humans, and plants and animals in the plantations and surrounding areas.

A documentary produced by the audiovisual collective, Ojo de Treile, shows how industrial monoculture plantations in southern Chile have been causing mega-droughts and voracious forest fires.
Almost 1,500 members of MALOA (Malen of Affected Land Owners and Users Assosiation) in Sierra Leona released a petition to object the RSPO (The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certification of SOCFIN subsidiary in that country.
The control of land was vital to colonisers. It meant wealth, territorial influence, access to ‘resources’ and cheap (and often enslaved) labour. The separation of indigenous inhabitants from their territories was a crucial component that persists until today. The effect of this history continues to influence the management of and conflicts over land.
British firms not only controlled 80 per cent of the established ‘logging lands’ in Thailand, but they also influenced the establishment of the Royal Forest Department, which came to have total power over the nation’s forests. Massive land grabs and various colonial laws made half the country’s territory into a colony of the central state.
What a certain historiography terms civilizational expansion or capital’s expansion has in fact been the invasion and de-territorialization of peoples and communities using much epistemic and territorial violence. Concessions have been granted in areas that are not demographic voids, a colonial concept that ignores the fact that they have been populated for millennia.
Many oil palm plantations’ concessions in West and Central Africa were built on lands stolen from communities during colonial occupations. This is the case in the DRC, where food company Unilever began its palm oil empire. Today, these plantations are still sites of on-going poverty and violence. It is time to end the colonial model of concessions and return the land to its original owners.
Colonial and anti-colonial movements’ have deeply shaped the patterns and impacts of concessions in SE Asia. In some cases, communities have experienced dispossession through land grabs dressed as concessions. In others, concessions are part of a re-concentration of land holding. Either way, the concession model fits well with ideologies of modernisation.
A Public Civil Action from the Prosecutor of Agrarian Justice in the state of Pará, Brazil, against the Jari Cellulose Group requested that part of their land titles be annulled.
An article from Mongabay news portal alerted the announcement of French oil giant Total Energies for developing a 40,000 hectare monoculture plantation in the savannahs of the Republic of Congo to offset its emissions.
This March 8, on International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the path forged by feminist struggles, which continue to resist and combat the various and brutal forms of violence against women. On this day, we share a series of articles from the WRM bulletin that denounce the violence against women and highlight their struggles in different countries in the Global South.
(Only available in French) Polices et militaires tirent à balles réelles sur des ouvriers de la Société FERONIA/PHC en grève à la plantation de Boteka.