Eucalyptus producer Portucel Group, Mozambique


The Portucel group acquired 173,000 hectares of land for a eucalyptus plantation project that will culminate with the building of a paper mill in the province of Zambezia. Further holdings in the province of Manica are also available. Portucel has destroyed local farmers houses, under pretext of have been granted land by the Council of Ministers of Mozambique.

See more...
Basic Data
NameEucalyptus producer Portucel Group, Mozambique
ProvinceZambezia and Manica
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific Commodities
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsPortucel is a large paper producing firm in Portugal. It adquired land for eucalyptus in Zambezia province (173 000 ha) and in 2011 it acquired a Land Use Permit for an additional area of 182,886 hectares in Manica Province, issued by the Mozambican government (Council of Ministers Resolution of 19 December 2011). This new permit was granted under the agreement between the Portucel Group and the Mozambican government in 2008, under which land use rights had already been granted for an area of 173,327 hectares in Zambezia Province. The Group now has at its disposal a total area of approximately 360,000 hectares for eucalyptus plantations and for commercial farming. Total investment including factories would be nearly 3000 million euros in 15 years.

The Groups sales are made to more than 100 countries in five continents, with Europe and the United States as the two main destinations.

Project Area (in hectares)173,000 - 182,000
Type of PopulationRural
Company Names or State EnterprisesPortucel from Portugal
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Energy
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersJusticia Ambiental (Environmental Justice, Friends of the Earth Mozambique)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Soil erosion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Project StatusIn operation
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The presence of Portucel in Zambezia is a threat to local sovereignty. The destruction of local vegetation and its replacement by eucalyptus monoculture destroys the local biodiversity. Moreover, it is known that the culture of eucalyptus consumes enormous amounts of water and destroy soils.
Sources and Materials

On land grabbing in Mozambique,2011,
[click to view]


[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorBoaventura Monjane
Last update08/04/2014