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.

Patriarchal oppression is inseparable from the industrial plantation model, and it is at the base of how companies generate profits. Companies target women, including due to their fundamental role in community life.
Land grabbing in Brazil is a clear example of organized crime, of land theft from small farmers.
The government of Indonesia endorsed the criticized Omnibus Law by saying that it is “crucial to attract investment and ultimately create jobs.” The Law is a direct attack on the territories and communities resisting the increasing destruction that has been ongoing for decades in Indonesia. (Available in Indonesian).
How are forest crimes defined? In Thailand, forest-dependant communities, rather than the government and companies carrying out large-scale deforestation, became scapegoats for this destruction. (Available in Thai).
The RSPO certification scheme used the palm oil industry’s legitimacy crisis to strengthen the terrain to the industry’s own advantage by issuing certificates that supposedly guarantee sustainability standards.
Friends of the Earth organised the First session of the African Peoples Tribunal in Lagos, Nigeria, in November 2020. Affected communities and civil society presented testimonies on cases of human rights violations and environmental degradation connected with monoculture tree plantations from ten countries across Africa. In all cases, development banks, private banks, investment funds and pension funds from all corners of the world were found to be controlling and financing the controversial rubber, palm oil and timber plantation companies.
The video “NO to violence against women and girls living in and around oil palm plantations” denounces the violence against women in West and Central Africa whose lands have been invaded by industrial oil palm plantations.
WRM spoke with close allies from Brazil, Gabon, India, Mexico and Mozambique, to hear from them and learn about their understandings of development.
Why haven't Africa's post-colonial governments dismantled the colonial plantation model of exploitation and extraction, returned the lands to their people and emboldened a resurgence of Africa's diverse, local food and farming systems?
How does REDD+ fit into the development agenda in Indonesia? What are the actors involved in promoting REDD+ and with which interests? (Available in Indonesian).
European development banks have financed a plantation company in DRC that is built on injustice and violence dating back to a colonial-era land grab. When the company went bankrupt in 2020, the banks chose to uphold the plantation model.
In June 2019, a report from the AfDB and WWF Kenya made a call to development-funding agencies, mainly from Europe, and the World Bank, to provide aid money to a new Fund for financing 100,000 hectares of (new) industrial tree plantations, to support the potential development of 500,000 hectares, in Eastern and Southern Africa.