Stora Enso and MST

Tord Björk | Environmental movements,Latin American movements,monoculture,MST | Saturday, January 24th, 2009

A meeting took place at the MST 25th anniversary on the conflict with the Finnish-Swedish Stora Enso, Veracell and other paper companies. Due to much pressure a meeting took place in Helsinki between MST and Stora Enso. The company were willing to promise things as:

Not to use GMO plants

Have an environmental profile

Admit that they had bought land close to the Uruguayan border in a wrong way

Not to intervene in Brazilian elections by supporting candidates

They assured that did not send for police on the of March 2008 when 800 female farmers were arrested during occupation

They wanted an official meeting with Via Campesina. VC do not want to negotiate but are willing to discuss problems.

The concessions have been made in a situation when there has been some important victories for the movement. Veracell have lost trials and has to pay 20 million reales, ca 7 million euro. Stora Enso lost the conflict on the legality of owning land close to the border. The company hoped for acceptance as plantations and new cellulosa factories are presented as the great possibility for the region. But the military opposed that the law forbidding foreign company to own land close to the border should be overlooked. This victory also meant that those in the environmnetal movement in Rio Grand do Sul that had been sceptical towards MST now joined forces with Friends of the Earth and others who already supported MST in their struggle against Stora Enso. The crisis also makes company to stop from continuing their expansion plans. Farmers get angry when the companies do not by the Eycalyptus.

In general the paper companies are on the defensive and ti is a good time for campaigning.

Paper, Ethanol and Social Struggles

Tord Björk | monoculture,MST,Repression | Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Rio Grande do Sul in Southern Brazil, Uruguay and across the border in Argentina is the area in the world with most Eucalyptus plantations for cellulosa production and agrofuel. This monoculture produces severe damage to the environment and causes social and political problems. The transnational companies that buys land to grow eucalyptus comes in conflict with landless peasants that needs land to grow food. The political system also gets fuelled by the companies who give politicians money to support them in elections. Than laws and other governmental actions in the interest of the transnational companies occurs as when 800 female farmers were arrested on the 8 of March 2008 when occupying land illegally planted by Stora Enso.

Friends of the Earth have exhibition about Eycalyptus, Paper and the social struggle which you find here:

http://www.foeeurope.org/exhibitions/spip.php?article2

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