MILAN (ITALY) – An unequivocal display of clout and arrogance was shown by PLANTAR, the Brazilian eucalypt plantation company based in the state of Minas Gerais, who last tuesday won this year’s TREETANIC AWARD.
This award is presented by the Global Forest Coalition to the worst carbon sinks projects being implemented under the premises of climate change mitigation. The company specializes in producing charcoal for the steel industry. The award was received by two members of the Network Against the Green Desert Movemnet who attended COP9 to raise awareness about the negative social and environmental impacts of Plantar’s operations.
From its outset, PLANTAR’s activities have resulted in serious and widespread environmental and social impacts, such as land appropriation, depletion and pollution of water and soils, deforestation, eradication of biodiversity, net employment losses, near slavery work conditions, loss of livelihoods, child labour and health hazards, and a host of other adverse impacts . The World Bank decided to approve Plantar as its first carbon sink project within the Prototype Carbon Fund’s (PCF) portfolio.
While PLANTAR received the prize for “worst CDM sinks project” in Milan, at home base in Curvelo, Minas Gerais, directors and managers of the company bully the Rural Union of Workers of Curvelo (STR/Curvelo) to sign a letter of support to the company, denying the merits that led to it winning the Treetanic award.
According to Gracie dos Reis, member of the Network Against the Green Desert and leader of the STR/Curvelo, PLANTAR directors Marcos de Deus and Marcos Vinícius wrote a statement on behalf of the workers’ union to be conveyed to the World Bank and the Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF). In the letter drafted by the company, STR/Curvelo affirm that Geraldo Armando, legal council to the workers’ union, currently in Milan attending FCCC/ COP9, is representing the Network Against the Green Desert and not the STR/Curvelo.
According to sources attending the meeting, the company attempts to create a local climate of hostility against Armando, and portrays him as jeopardizing the creation of jobs in Curvelo. PLANTAR also continues its tactics of spreading misinformation by claiming that Armando has criticized eucalypt monocultures, while de Oliveira, also from Minas Gerais, defended them in Milan. In reality both were unequivocally opposing the expansion of eucalyptus tree plantations in Brazil.
Among the threats to the STR directors, PLANTAR’s bureaucrats talked about massive lay-offs in Curvelo, in the event that carbon credits will not materialize as result of the criticism.
The same source stated that the company bosses finally obtained the desired signatures by coercing each worker’s union director one by one, as in a scene of “Russian roulette”. Gracie dos Reis finally signed with an “under pressure” beside her name. Perhaps this will cost her the job at PLANTAR. The director Marcos de Deus threatened to take legal action against her and others that dare criticizing PLANTAR.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jutta Kill – phone:+0039 3391 554 924
Miguel Lovera – phone: +0031 6 526 11183