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.

Several of Sappi’s plantations have been converted from pine to eucalyptus trees without authorization. Data obtained in over 75 years to verify timber plantations’ water use demonstrate that eucalyptus trees use 30 to 50% more water than pine trees.

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.

Download the publication. Also available in Swahili.