by Wally Menne with TimberWatch
It is generally considered normal for decent people to be opposed to human poverty and hunger, to corporate power and money-lust, to ignorance and greed, to inequities and discrimination, to dishonesty and deceitfulness; so, why do so many people seemingly still not understand why socially and ecologically harmful industrial tree plantations deserve the same level of civil society opposition to them, and must be the target of a co-ordinated international campaign to oppose their proliferation?
With large-scale industrial monoculture tree plantations, you can get all of these fantastic ‘benefits’ in a convenient single package:
- POVERTY and HUNGER of the worst kind are experienced by rural communities and indigenous peoples whose land has been degraded or taken away from them, and thus been dispossessed of their primary means of survival – their forests, fields, wildlife and water – together with the associated indigenous knowledge and cultural traditions.
- POWER and MONEY-LUST are the forces that drive the aggressive efforts of the international pulp, paper, packaging and wood-products industry to cheaply access communal or state-owned land; tribal land in indigenous territories; land designated as forest reserves, or even land in protected areas, for new tree plantations.
- GREED and IGNORANCE are what drive banks, investment funds, pension schemes, university endowment funds, even some churches, and the foreign aid agencies of Northern governments, to finance the establishment of new tree plantations on prime land in poor countries where it is claimed that “sustainable development” is required.
- DISCRIMINATION and INEQUITY are essential ingredients if such tree plantation projects are to be ‘successful’, and these take the form of low wages for dangerous work, separation of workers from their families, shockingly poor worker living conditions, inadequate worker training and safety precautions, and minimal retirement benefits.
- DECEIT and DISHONESTY in the form of blatant denial of, or disregard for, the negative social and ecological impacts of the destruction of productive farmland and biodiverse natural habitats, through their long-term conversion into alien tree plantations that degrade the soil, deplete water resources, and contribute to climate change!
But that’s not all, folks! You can get all of these fantastic ‘forest-free’ tree plantation products with the extra ‘Guilt-Free Guarantee’, because our tree plantations come with the assurance that they have been certified as being “Responsibly Managed Forests”, which, after recent wildfires in Chile, Portugal and South Africa, can mean just about anything.
Therefore, please join in commemorating the unwilling sacrifices made by those innocent victims of tree plantations, who have suffered needlessly thanks largely to the Lies and Misinformation that have been spread through the use of inaccurate and misleading words, terms, and definitions to spread ‘fake news’ about ‘fake forests’. For example, using the term “planted forests” to describe tree plantations, as promoted by the UN FAO, which fails to recognise that when used as a ‘cover up’, it actually serves as an admission of guilt.
Earlier this year, the [World Rainforest Movement (WRM)] published a frightening article about how the expansion of tree plantations is now being misrepresented as “Forest Restoration”. However, the term that has been coined for promoting the concept is “Forest Landscape Restoration” (FLR) . See https://www.iucn.org/theme/for
Please read the WRM article, and if it makes you even a little worried, please make an effort to support this campaign, to spread the word, and to encourage others to speak out.