Struggles Against Tree Monocultures

We invite you to reflect with an activist who explores resistance processes and the challenges they face, based on her experience with struggles in Brazil. In this reflection, we also invite you to join the collective resistance from your own contexts and spaces of organization. The fight continues and the fight is one!
Oil palm plantations are a central cause of deforestation in southeast Mexico. A network of women in Chiapas have organized to denounce the tactics of coercion and deception employed by the State and companies to get peasants to accept this monoculture on their lands. Their struggle is for the land, for their knowledge, and for their voices to be heard.
Oil palm plantation company Socfin has meant violence and oppression for affected communities in several African countries. Sierra Leone is no exception. In collaboration with Aminata Finda Massaquoi, a journalist and the national coordinator of the women’s advocacy network WORNAPI, WRM is releasing a podcast to highlight the voices of women living with the impacts of industrial plantations.
The news portal Metrópoles travelled 5,700 km to denounce how the palm oil production chain affects quilombola communities and Indigenous Peoples in the state of Pará, Brazil—namely through expropriation of traditional communities, environmental impacts, and a labor history analogous to slavery.
An investigation by SourceMaterial and Unearthed exposed some of the impacts of a major tree-planting carbon offsetting project in the Republic of Congo from oil giant TotalEnergies, which was announced at the end of 2021.
In September 2022, two large contingents of national police and military were dispatched to oil palm plantation concession areas of the Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC) in Lokutu and Boteka.
This bulletin highlights materials and analysis related to communities’ struggles against industrial tree plantations. It also pays homage to communities in DRC struggling to get their lands back from an oil palm company since colonial times. Their courageous struggle showcases the multiple layers of oppression and violations that result from the plantation model.
Industrial tree plantations have always been about corporate control over community fertile lands. The monoculture model inherently endangers communities’ survival, food sovereignty and autonomy, deepens the violence of patriarchy and racism while enforcing the same destructive and oppressive way of organizing land (and thus, people) as the one enforced during the colonial era.
The network that brings together movements, organizations and communities in the fight against tree plantations met in the Far South of the State of Bahia. This September 21st, it once again denounced the impacts of this violent and unjust model, which is based on large-scale plantations mostly for pulp export.
The oil palm plantations of BIDCO, a company partially owned by Wilmar, in Kalangala Island, Uganda, generated devastating impacts. The company plans to expand to Buvuma Island, however, they keep confronting strong organized opposition! Watch a short video with testimonies of resistance from Buvuma Island.
On the occasion of September 21st, 2022, the International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations, WRM launched the briefing “12 Replies to 12 Lies about Industrial Tree Plantations”.