World Rainforest Movement

Finnish activists protest against Stora Enso and Veracel

Finnish activists protest against Stora Enso and Veracel
In March 2018, activists from Friends of the Earth Finland and an association supporting landless peoples around the globe (Maattomien ystävät ry – in Finnish) organized a protest in Finland during the general meeting of the shareholders of the Stora Enso. That company and Brazil’s Fibria are the owners of Veracel Celulose in Brazil. The protesters accused Veracel of illegally occupying land and promoting violence by evicting landless families from areas planted with eucalyptus monoculture plantations. Complaints have been made against Veracel since the company established operations in the extreme south of the state of Bahia around 25 years ago. The company’s history is marked by illegalities, environmental degradation and violence. Finnish researcher Markus Kroger, who recently visited the region, says the underlying problem is large-scale centralized production that needs vast production areas in the vicinity of a mega-pulp mill. This model negatively impacts the lives of thousands of people in the region who are fighting for their rights to their land in a country that has not yet implemented any far-reaching agrarian reforms or even demarcated all indigenous lands. For articles published by the Finnish press please see here.