Timber

Large-scale, intensively-managed and even-aged tree monocultures for timber production have been expanding onto communities’ fertile lands. They have destroyed forests and grasslands, especially in Latin America, Asia, and East and Southern Africa. The species used are exotic and fast-growing. They include varieties of eucalyptus, pine and teak trees.

On the frontlines of the promotion of monoculture tree plantations as a solution to the climate crisis, families affected by tree plantations in Mozambique, Tanzania and Brazil, have once again denounced the serious impacts on their lives and the environment.

We share this song, composed by the organizations Justicia Ambiental, Missão Tabita and AJOCME, from Mozambique.

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.

It is a day for organizations, networks and movements to celebrate resistance and raise their voices to demand, “Stop the Expansion of Monoculture Tree Plantations!"

In response to an article that was published in WRM’s bulletin, Missão Tabita and WRM received letters from the plantation company, Portucel, and the organization, ORAM. The letters claimed that the article was untrue; however, neither Portucel nor ORAM could prove that the information published was not true.

The company, Portucel, considers its thousands of hectares of plantations in Mozambique to be “sustainable,” despite serious problems and conflicts with and among local communities.

Green Resources S.A., a company with mostly Norwegian capital, is considered to be the largest tree plantation company in Africa. The reality on the ground reveals serious land conflicts between the company and local communities, in Mozambique, Uganda and Tanzania. This article reflects the situation in Mozambique.

Industrial tree plantation projects in Mozambique are gaining more and more ground in processes of land acquisition and dispute. The Portuguese company, Portucel, has a “reforestation” plan through 2026 that aims to cover 356 thousand hectares.

This article gives an overview on the industrial tree plantation expansion threat in eastern and southern African countries, its external drivers, as well as the challenges this expansion presents to affected communities struggling to defend their land and livelihoods.