International Day against Monoculture Tree Plantations

21 September International Day against Monoculture Tree Plantations Planting trees is not always a good thing to do. It depends on the objective, the scale, the location of the plantation and the benefits or damages involved for the local population. Large-scale monoculture tree plantations that have been promoted in the countries of the South with fast-growing species, such as eucalyptus and pine have generated considerable negative impacts, economically, socially and environmentally in the countries where they have been installed. The Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations (Red Latinoamericana contra los Monocultivos de Árboles – RECOMA) an organization involving members from 16 countries, has been denouncing, inter alia, displacements of rural populations, loss of sources of work, appalling working conditions, the destruction of forests and other ecosystems, soil erosion, depletion and contamination of water. In May 2004, the Brazilian "Network against the Green Desert" that has a considerable track record of resistance to tree plantations, held its 3rd National Meeting in the city of Bello Horizonte. On that occasion it decided to select the 21 September, National Tree Day, as a significant date to commemorate the struggle against monoculture tree plantations. Convened by RECOMA, organizations from the whole region are adhering to this commemoration and will carry out various mobilizations. In Brazil, the students of the Federal University have organized a mobilization to take place on that date in the capital of the State of Espirito Santo, with the participation of representatives of affected groups to denounce the workers’ situation and encroachment of the lands of the local communities by monoculture tree plantations. In Argentina, in the Province of Entre Ríos the negative impacts of monoculture tree plantations will be given dissemination by the press and in the Province of Misiones native species will be planted as a symbolic way of rejecting the monoculture of exotic species that is covering the province. Uruguay is joining in this celebration with an exhibition at the City Hall Esplanade, with the distribution of information, videos will be shown on a gigantic screen. they will include the impacts of monoculture tree plantations and the situation of Uruguayan forestry workers, prepared by the Association of Labour Inspectors of Uruguay. For those of us who believe that "another world is possible", governmental policy must make a radical change. It must cease its support of monoculture tree plantation companies and centre its support on the men and women who live in rural environments to enable them to improve their quality of life, while ensuring environmental quality. For more information: Ana Filippini, RECOMA Secretariat, World Rainforest Movement Montevideo - Uruguay Phones: (5982) 413 2989 - 410 0985 Mobile phone: 099 367 966

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