Press release: A petition delivered to the Mozambique government and tree plantations companies urging them to give the land back to communities
On September 30, a petition was delivered with 12,323 signatures from several national and international organisations, as well as from individuals, in solidarity with and support to the communities in Mozambique that struggle against the expansion of tree monoculture plantations. The petition has been submitted to the companies Green Resources in Norway and Portucel/The Navigator Company in Portugal, as well as to governmental institutions in Mozambique including the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
Those who signed demanded that “Green Resources, Portucel and all other companies and finance capital investors that are grabbing or planning to support the grabbing of fertile agricultural lands for monoculture tree plantations in Eastern and Southern Africa give back the land to the communities. By doing so, they can contribute to preventing new and solving the many existing conflicts across the region between plantation companies and governments. We demand that the Government of Mozambique upholds its Land Law and ensures that community rights to land, water and food are duly respected.”
See here the full text of the petition (http://wrm.org.uy/actions-and-campaigns/stop-plantations-expansion-in-mozambique/)
The petition was launched as part of a number of activities on occasion of September 21st, International Day of Struggle against Tree Monoculture that celebrates the resistance globally of rural communities to the land grabbing for large-scale tree monoculture plantation projects like eucalyptus plantations. This is a growing trend in eastern and southern African countries and creates a number of negative impacts as the petition explains. New mega-projects and incentives such as, for example, the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), tend to further worsen these impacts.
Another activity held was the launch on September 21st in Maputo of two important reports highlighting situations of conflicts and violations related to the territories of local community and involving companies active in promoting tree monocultures, namely Lurio Green Resources from Norway and Portucel Moçambique/The Navigator Company from Portugal.
The first study launched is called “the Advance of Tree Plantations over the Territories of Peasants in the Corridor of Nacala: the case of Green Resources Mozambique” (In Portuguese: “o Avanço das Plantações Florestais sobre os Territórios dos Camponeses no Corredor de Nacala: o caso da Green Resources Moçambique”). The study has been produced by the Mozambican organisations Livaningo, UNAC (União Nacional dos Camponeses) and Justiça Ambiental. To access this report, in Portuguese, click here
The second study launched is called “Portucel – the Process of the access to Land and the rights of communities” (In Portuguese: “Portucel – O Processo de acesso à Terra e os direitos das comunidades”). The study has been produced by Justiça Ambiental, in partnership with the World Rainforest Movement (WRM). To access this report, in Portuguese, click here
“The white people came to our leader [régulo]. First they let the people know about the arrival of the white people. The population joined together and they came to demand the land of the farmers. But we were scared because we thought they would take our land away, but the white people said: ‘we came to bring peace to you. We will solve your situation. We will identify an area where you can continue cultivating, all of you. If something is lacking, you make a demand, and we will attend you.’ We got satisfied, but after all they lied”. Member of the Nicara community, Mecubir, during the Launch of the aforementioned reports, September 21st in Maputo.
September, 30, 2016
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