Sign on to support communities in Brazil

Sign on Letter – English

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I support Indigenous, Quilombola and local communities devastated by the social and ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations, and threatened by the planned future use of GMO tree plantations.

The following demands have been compiled from Quilombola Communities and Landless Workers Movement (MST) representatives in Northern Espirito Santo and Southern Bahía, Brazil. These communities are directly impacted by the effects of eucalyptus plantations and the potential ramifications of GMO eucalyptus trees.

Community Demands:

    1. We call for an end to the aerial spraying of pesticides. Spraying eucalyptus plantations and other production monocultures by drones or planes results in the poisoning of soils, crops, livestock and water that communities depend on for survival.
    2. We call for immediate access to safe water for communities that have had their water sources sucked dry by eucalyptus plantations or poisoned by aerial pesticide spraying.
    3. We call for a ban on genetically engineered trees which, if planted, will intensify problems associated with industrial tree plantations. History shows that GE crops with herbicide tolerant traits result in an increased use of pesticides.
    4. We call for the removal of eucalyptus plantations and prosecution of Suzano for their illegal activities including land theft.
    5. We call on Brazil’s national government to return land to Indigenous, Quilombola, and peasant farming communities and accelerate the demarcation process to secure their land titles into the future.
    6. We demand legal, financial, and policy support from official bodies for farmers wishing to pursue agroecology and other ecological production methods for growing healthy food for their communities.

I support the demands of  Indigenous, Quilombola and local communities devastated by the social and ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations, and threatened by the planned future use of GMO tree plantations.

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Background Information

Large scale eucalyptus plantations have been taking over Brazil’s native forest landscape for decades. Brazil-based Suzano, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies, is a key driver of plantation expansion and ongoing land theft from Indigenous, Quilombola, and peasant farming communities. In addition to the forced displacement of traditional communities, eucalyptus and other industrial forest plantations result in the poisoning and depletion of land and waters, and loss of biological diversity.

The social and ecological problems posed by these plantations will intensify if Suzano begins to plant its genetically engineered (GE, GMO or genetically modified) eucalyptus trees. As of August 2023, Brazil’s national government has approved seven GE trees for commercial planting, but none have been planted yet.

During May and June of 2023, the International Campaign to STOP GE Trees brought people from Argentina, Canada, Chile, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, and the US, to Brazil to advance plans to stop the development and commercial release of genetically engineered trees, and to support and highlight opposition to pulp company Suzano’s ongoing destruction of native forests, expansion of industrial eucalyptus plantations, and potential use of GE eucalyptus trees modified to tolerate toxic herbicides.

The Campaign met with Brazilian NGOs, Indigenous and Quilombola communities, and MST members in order to learn, document and amplify the voices and concerns of rural communities who are on the front lines of resisting industrial eucalyptus plantations and their devastating social and ecological impacts.

As an international campaign, we stand in solidarity with communities who say NO to industrial tree plantations and NO to GE trees.

Additional Resources:

Article: Profit Trumps People and Planet in Brazil’s Eucalyptus Industry (August 2023)

Report: The Global Status of Genetically Engineered Tree Development: A Growing Threat (August 2022)

Report: Genetically Engineered Trees: No Solution to Climate Change

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