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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.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Eucalyptus producer Portucel Group, Mozambique
State or province:Zambezia 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:Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Cellulose
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Portucel 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.

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Project area:173,000 - 182,000
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Portucel from Portugal
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Energy
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Justicia Ambiental (Environmental Justice, Friends of the Earth Mozambique)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Forms of mobilization:Involvement 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-economical 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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Meta information
Contributor:Boaventura Monjane
Last update08/04/2014
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