Struggles Against Tree Monocultures

A recent report from the Campaign to Stop GE Trees alerts that the global release of genetically engineered (GE) trees is closer than it has ever been.
21 September, the International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations, is a day for networks, movements and organizations to celebrate resistance and raise their voices to demand: “STOP the Expansion of Monoculture Tree Plantations!”.
In the framework of September 21st, International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations, Colombian organizations and movements made a declaration in which they denounce the expansion of large-scale monocultures, and aim to shine light on a problem “that threatens the life, dignity and autonomy of communities.
We share the final statement where they express their demands and claims.
The Informal Alliance Against the Expansion of Industrial Oil Palm Plantations in West and Central Africa released a declaration to keep breaking the silence of the many abuses around industrial plantations and to reaffirm their strong commitment to resist their expansion in the defence of their territories and lives.
The quilombola communities of Sapê do Norte, Brazil, are living a violent process with the expansion of large-scale eucalyptus monoculture. After many hardships, they started a process to take back their water and land. And the struggle to take back what is theirs continues. WRM talked to two quilombola activists to reflect on this difficult but fertile process of resistance.
Industrial palm oil production in West and Central Africa is mainly controlled by five multinational corporations, and could continue expansion. Plantations take up large tracts of land. Land and water are interdependent. Yet, the current water crisis in these territories would not exist if corporations had not grabbed the land from communities.
There is no other crop that has grown faster globally in the last decade than palm oil. This almost uncontrollable expansion leaves a deep trail of destruction and conflicts around its giant areas of plantations from Southeast Asia to West and Central Africa. As companies take over more community land, they also grab the water sources from them.
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.