World Rainforest Movement

Alert call against financialization of Nature

Press release – International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations.

An open letter (see here) by organizations and activists from 45 countries dated today -International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations- warns about a new phenomenon: the expansion of monoculture tree plantations as a result of finance capitals promoting it.

According to the letter, the incentive is part of a greater process by virtue of which  “speculative financial markets have increasingly gained power over the rest of the economy and life in general.” The statement also indicates that “The new Green Economy, encouraged by the United Nations and rationalized by the claim that the only way to assure that nature is conserved is to price it.”

The letter goes on to express that: “Preserving nature becomes a business, restricting the access of local communities to zones and goods that are essential to their survival. REDD and proto-REDD projects are a clear example.”

And: “In many cases, it is the same actors who are speculating on the ‘business of nature’ and getting richer through its destruction. At the same time that financial capital explores ‘ecosystem services’, it is also continuing to expand its interests in destructive activities. For example, it is increasingly common that pension or investment funds from Northern countries invest and speculate in large-scale monoculture tree plantations in Southern countries.”

According to WRM’s (World Rainforest Movement) international coordinator Winnie Overbeek:“Monoculture tree plantations, which have caused serious social and environmental problems for local populations mainly in southern countries, today find a new incentive in these investments by speculative financial capitals whose only interest is to access quick and easy profits. This is making the land concentration issue worse and also jeopardizes the food sovereignty of large populations and regions”.

On this particular date, this letter will be addressed, in a number of countries, to local government authorities, as the 11th Meeting of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity is organized to take place in India shortly, from October 1st to 19th.

Organizations as well as activists claim for the governments to put a halt on the expansion of tree plantations on peoples territories and request a firm position by authorities attending the CBD meeting against the growing financialization of nature.

What indigenous peoples use to call ´the sacred´ cannot be priced; it has to be defended!