Eucalyptus to make cellulose devastates biodiversity

Eucalyptus to make cellulose devastates biodiversity

To supply a pulp mill in Mozambique, up to 237,000 hectares of forest will be cut down, including the miombo ecoregion. The Portucel company intends to cover the land with eucalyptus monoculture to obtain wood. The population has become impoverished and lost their lands. The World Bank Group should not finance the project.

What matters more? Multi-million dollar earnings for a business and a few jobs or the priceless Miombo Forest?

In Mozambique, around the pulp mill of the Portucel company they plan to clear the forest. The company's plan is to plant eucalyptus en masse - with money from the World Bank.

Not only do biodiversity lose their habitat, especially the population is threatened to lose their land and their livelihood. Where tree monocultures spread - eucalyptus is a paradigmatic case - many animals and plants disappear, and peasant families are displaced.

To supply a pulp mill in Mozambique, up to 237,000 hectares of forest will be cut down, including the miombo ecoregion. The World Bank Group should not finance the project.


To: Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group; Philippe Le Houérou, Director of the International Finance Corporation IFC

The Portucel pulp mill and the eucalyptus plantations to supply it are a social and ecological catastrophe. Don't finance it.

Dear Jim Yong Kim,
Dear Philippe Le Houérou,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

To establish monocultures to supply the pulp mill in Ile-Namarroi, Portucel has secured 365,000 hectares of land in Mozambique. A large part would be cut down in the coming years to establish eucalyptus plantations. Among them, 114,000 hectares of miombo forests.

IFC participates in the project.

Local people report land theft, loss of their livelihoods and lack of information. Many people have become impoverished, the way they supplied themselves with food is in danger. The promised jobs have not been created.

The ecological and social consequences of the project are unsustainable. Please withdraw the funding you consider providing the project.


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The dry forests and savannahs of miombo in southern Africa are a complex mosaic with more than 300 species of trees. Of the 633 species of birds recorded, 11 are endemic and do not exist anywhere else. Several species of antelope inhabit the area and there are also elephants, giraffes and lions.

Now in northern Mozambique they plan to cut down up to 114,000 hectares of miombo forests and plant eucalyptus trees instead. The consequences for nature are dramatic: biodiversity is reduced, soils are degraded, the water balance is destroyed.

The Portucel project in Mozambique leaves as little room for nature as it does for the rural population. There is a study that describes how peasant families have lost their land and livelihood. As a consequence they have become impoverished and do not know where to get food. The promised jobs and better living conditions are just an illusion for most.

Portucel Moçambique wants to produce 1.5 million tons of pulp at the factory for the Asian market. The seedlings for planting come from the company's own nursery - the largest in Africa.

The amount to be invested of 3 billion euros for the pulp project makes it clear that Mozambique is after big business. Not surprisingly, there is a 20% stake in the International Finance Corporation IFC, a subsidiary of the World Bank.

The pulp mill and its plantations are not the only major problematic environmental project. On the contrary, the government is expanding industrial agriculture according to the Brazilian model in a forceful way with the ProSavana program.

Portucel Moçambique has already cleared thousands of hectares of forest. In 12 years, all the plantations would be established. There is still time! We can save valuable forests.


Video: NatureServe: Biodiversity Conservation (September 2021).