Genetically engineered eucalyptus trees approved in Brazil. How long before we see GE tree monocultures in REDD?
Last April, the commercial use of GE eucalyptus trees was approved in Brazil, despite the strong local resistance and evidence of GE eucalyptus trees intensifying industrial plantations’ impacts. This is the first approval of GE trees in Latin America. The application came from FuturaGene, a subsidiary of pulp and paper company Suzano. FuturaGene claims that because its GE trees grow faster, they also absorb more carbon dioxide, however, as an article from REDD-Monitor points out, trees from Suzano are mostly clearcut and converted to paper products, which returns carbon to the atmosphere. The article also asks if the approval of GE trees in Brazil mean that we can now expect REDD payments to go to companies planting vast monocultures of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees? After all, there are still no agreed definitions to differentiate forests from monoculture tree plantations (GE or not) in the UN negotiations.
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