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!

This publication aims to alert community groups and activists about the corporate push for a new round of large-scale tree plantation expansion.

The Independent Producers of Piray (PIP) in Misiones, Argentina was formed in 2005 to stop the advance of multinational Arauco’s pine tree monocultures and reclaim the land. WRM spoke with Miriam Samudio, a key member of the PIP family, to reflect on the process of the struggle and the lessons learned.
In Brazil, oil palm plantations are expanding rapidly, mainly in the Amazonian state of Pará. BBF (Brasil BioFuels), the largest oil palm company in Brazil, stands accused of environmental crimes and violence against indigenous, quilombola and peasant communities such as Virgílio Serrão Sacramento, a community linked to the Small Farmers’ Movement (MPA).
More than 10 million hectares in Indonesia are controlled by the pulp and paper industry, mainly by two giant corporations: APP and APRIL. Despite the companies’ commitments to protect forests and peatland, both keep being associated with deforestation, forest fires and to a business model of violence, criminalization and dispossession of forest communities. (Available in Bahasa Indonesia)
There are currently 270,000 hectares of oil palm plantations in Ecuador. The resistance processes of the communities of La Chiquita, Guadualito and Barranquilla de San Javier in the region of Esmeraldas continue to generate outrage and solidarity among other communities, and internationally.
A conversation with the president of the Volta Miúda Quilombola Association and of the Southernmost part of Bahia Quilombola Cooperative revealed how Suzano, the world’s largest paper and cellulose corporation, continues to operate with serious violations and illegalities. Communities keep fighting to reclaim their lands back.
More than 50 organizations, networks and movements from Brazil and around the world denounce the release into the environment and the commercial use of a new transgenic eucalyptus from the Brazilian company Suzano Papel e Celulose.
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.
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.