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The Network Against Monoculture Tree Plantations (RECOMA) and Programa Uruguay Sustentable, which are organized around REDES-Friends of the Earth Uruguay, will hold an activity to expose monoculture tree plantations as part of the activities to mark the International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations on September 21.
The activity, to be held at the School of Social Sciences of the University of the Republic, Uruguay, will also focus on monoculture plantations of genetically modified soy in Uruguay. REDES-FoE will present a report on the global struggle against US transnational corporation Monsanto, producer of RR GM soy, which is planted in Uruguay.
The environmental activists expose the company as part of the Global Week of Action Against Monsanto, which includes activities all over the world.
On September 21 the “organizations, networks and social movements will celebrate the resistance and will raise our voices to demand to stop the expansion” of monoculture tree plantations, reads a press release issued by REDES-FoE yesterday. Monoculture tree plantations “threaten the sovereignty of our peoples by privatizing water, land and displacing communities”.
There are nearly a million hectares planted with tree monocultures in Uruguay. This adds up to the projects to build pulp mills in different parts of the country at the initiative of big transnational corporations. Those corporations also pressure to obtain huge benefits and profits.
REDES-FoE says that small rural farmers are the ones that bear the brunt of the model of large scale monoculture tree plantations for the pulp industry. The organization is exposing the lack of water and soil erosion in different parts of the country planted with tree monocultures. “Besides there has been an increase in the price of land as a result of the drive for agribusiness. As a result of the pressure and the difficulties to produce, rural families are forced to leave the countryside. This is the result of the foreignization of land”.
The environmental activist said that Monsanto is the main driver of genetically modified crops and the privatization of seeds worldwide and he stated their concern over the company’s lobby in public spaces.
In late August, REDES-FoE had publicly rejected a confidential agreement between the National Institute of Agriculture and Livestock Research (INIA) and Monsanto. The deal, signed on May 16, provides the inclusion of INTACT RR2 PRO technology in up to three lines of soy of INIA’s genetic engineering program. This technology includes two transgenes to the soy genome: one provides tolerance to glyphosate pesticide (RR2Y), while the other one provides resistance to some ledidoptera or a certain type of insects (Bt).
“The issue is that the soy germoplasm has been developed by farmers over thousands of years”, while the technology that will be applied is owned by Monsanto and the company charges for its use”, says a REDES press release of August 31. The environmental organization warned about Monsanto’s new attempt to privatize phytogenetic resources and to get royalties.
The deal will be exposed once again at Friday’s event, when REDES presents the report about the growing struggle against Monsanto around the world.
Besides the scheduled presentations, the activity will include a new documentary by Real World Radio on the International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations called “Silent occupation”.
Photo: REDES – Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay
“Este triunfo de Uruguay debe ser un llamado urgente a analizar, revisar, renegociar o anular cuando corresponda todos los tratados bilaterales de comercio y de protección de inversiones que ha suscrito el país, antes de exponernos a nuevas demandas en las que podemos correr con distinta suerte que en la recién finalizada”.
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