Last update:
2018-02-25

Eucalyptus plantations in São Luiz do Paraitinga. “Deserto Verde” in São Paulo, Brazil

Pulp mill industries increased eucalyptus plantations for cellulose production. Strong reaction against three large production industries in the region – Votorantim, Suzano and Nobrecel.


Description:

The Paraíba Valley is located in the transition between the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and close to the Atlantic Ocean coast. Nowadays, the Valley is famous for its industry – centred on the automobile, ironworks, and aerospace manufactures– and for being an important contributor to Brasil’s GDP. Initially covered by swamps in the plain areas and Atlantic forest in the mountainous regions surrounding it, the Valley has lost most of its biodiversity due to different human uses for the land. While big coffee plantations where the main crop until its crisis the 1930s, agricultural production progressively turned to cattle (mostly for milk) and rice. In the past decades, though, eucalyptus monocultures have been substituting these traditional activities to produce cellulose fibres. São Luiz do Paraitinga is located in the Paraíba Valley and is an area that has been suffering a process of changes in the use of the soil for the economic activities. Historically, the agriculture of smallholders was the main activity of the city. The city have strong traditional and culture related to the land and was safeguard of the countryside culture [1]. The eucalyptus arrives in the municipality of São Luiz do Paraitinga for the governmental incentives during the military dictatorial period, in first years of the 1970  decade [2].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Eucalyptus plantations in São Luiz do Paraitinga. “Deserto Verde” in São Paulo, Brazil
Country:Brazil
State or province:São Paulo
Location of conflict:São Luiz do Paraitinga
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
Agro-toxics
Specific commodities:Cellulose
Paper mills
Eucalyptus
Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project details

- The eucalyptus plantation covered 8,95% of the total area of the São Luiz in the 1990s (5.527 ha);

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Project area:61,700
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:25/11/2006
Company names or state enterprises:Nobrecel from Brazil
Votorantim Group from Brazil
Suzano Papel e Celulose and Suzano Renewable Energy from Brazil
Relevant government actors:Tribunal de Justiça de São Paulo (TJ/SP); Defensoria Pública do Estado (DPE); Tribunal de Taubaté.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Brazil Landless Workers’ Movement (MST); Associação de Favelas de São José dos Campos; Convergência dos Movimentos Populares da América Latina (Compal); Movimento em Defesa dos Pequenos Agricultores (MDPA)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Informal workers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Other Environmental impactsTOLEDO, M. H. S. O impacto da plantação extensiva de eucalipto nas culturas tradicionais: Estudo de caso de São Luis do Paraitinga, SP. Cadernos IHUideias, ano 10, n. 167, 2012. Available at: ttp://www.ihu.unisinos.br/images/stories/cadernos/ideias/167cadernosihuideias.pdf
DE LA TORRE, W. G. Ação Civil Pública com Pedido de Liminar. Taubaté: Defensoria Pública do Estado de São Paulo. Defensoria Regional de Taubaté, 2008. Available at: http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/15799203/261655944/name/ACP_EUCALIPTOS_CATU%C3%87ABA.pdf
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents, Other Health impacts
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Other Health impactsDE LA TORRE, W. G. Ação Civil Pública com Pedido de Liminar. Taubaté: Defensoria Pública do Estado de São Paulo. Defensoria Regional de Taubaté, 2008. Available at: http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/15799203/261655944/name/ACP_EUCALIPTOS_CATU%C3%87ABA.pdf
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Displacement
Potential: Land dispossession
Other socio-economic impacts"The narratives often mentioned the following points: that "eucalyptus dries the water"; the abrupt change in the landscape; damage to local roads; the lack of economic benefits for the municipality; water contamination caused by herbicides; concern with what could be produced on lands once the eucalyptus was removed; and isolation among rural inhabitants." (15)
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:Some of the court decisions carried some minor victories for the plaintiffs. However, eucalyptus cultivation is still rising, reaching more than 10% of some municipalities total croplands' area. It seems some municipalities have issued specific legislation on eucalyptus cultivation lands, and others have simply prohibited it. The majority, however, still does very little to stop its growth.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The project of expansion of the eucalyptus plantations wasn stopped for now (by the Justice - as result of several process that have been promoted by the social movement and victims [2] ), but as several academic researchers have shown, the expansion of the plantations continues [4,11,12].
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Civil Public Action of the Public Ministry in the state of São Paulo
[click to view]

TJ-SP suspende plantio de eucalipto no interior de SP
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

FARINACI, J.S. 2012. As novas matas do estado de São Paulo: um estudo multiescalar sob a perspectiva da teoria da transição

(15) Ambiente & Sociedade. Ambient. soc. vol.16 no.2 São Paulo Apr./June 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1414-753X2013000200003

Forest transition and ecological modernization: eucalyptus forestry beyond good and bad. Juliana Sampaio Farinaci; Leila da Costa Ferreira; Mateus Batistella
[click to view]

[1] BRANDÃO, C. Partilha da Vida. São Paulo: Cabral Editora, 1995

[2] TOLEDO, M. H. S. O impacto da plantação extensiva de eucalipto nas culturas tradicionais: Estudo de caso de São Luis do Paraitinga, SP. Cadernos IHUideias, ano 10, n. 167, 2012.

[3] Silveira, P. C. B. Etnografia da paisagem: natureza, cultura e hibridismo em São Luiz do Paraitinga. Dissertação (Mestrado). Campinas: UNICAMP, 2008

[4] Cantinho, R. Z.; Salgado, M. P. G.; Batista, G. T. Análise da expansão do eucalipto no município de São Luis do Paraitinga, SP, Brasil. Anais XV Simpósio Brasileiro de Sensoriamento Remoto - SBSR, Curitiba, PR, Brasil, 30 de abril a 05 de maio de 2011, INPE.

[5] Veiga, D. A Recriação e (re) produção camponesa em São Luiz do Paraitinga- SP. Reencuentro de saberes territoriales latinoamericanos, Perú, 2013.

[6] http://www.conflitoambiental.icict.fiocruz.br/index.php?pag=ficha&cod=243

[7] http://reporterbrasil.org.br/2009/07/eucalipto-avanca-em-sao-luiz-do-paraitinga-e-gera-reacoes/

[8] http://www.redebrasilatual.com.br/revistas/46/deserto-verde

[9] http://www.conflitoambiental.icict.fiocruz.br/index.php?pag=ficha&cod=243

[10] http://sao-paulo.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,tj-sp-suspende-plantio-de-eucalipto-no-interior-de-sp,137906

[11] OLIVEIRA, L. E. A expansão da monocultura do eucalipto e as implicações socioambientais no Município de São Luis do Paraitinga: Um estudo de caso. Dissertação (Mestrado). Programa de Pós Graduação em Planejamento Urbano e Regional da UNIVAP. São José dos Campos: 2011.

[12] Arguello, F. V. P. Expansão do eucalipto no trecho paulista da bacia hidrográfica Paraíba do Sul. 2010. 79 p. Dissertação (Mestrado), Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Ambientais of the Taubaté University. Taubaté, 2010.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

DE LA TORRE, W. G. Ação Civil Pública com Pedido de Liminar. Taubaté: Defensoria Pública do Estado de São Paulo. Defensoria Regional de Taubaté, 2008.
[click to view]

SP - Eucalipto no Vale do Paraíba, região leste do Estado de São Paulo, está causando graves danos ambientais e êxodo rural
[click to view]

Eucalipto avança em São Luiz do Paraitinga e gera reações
[click to view]

TOLEDO, M. H. S. O impacto da plantação extensiva de eucalipto nas culturas tradicionais: Estudo de caso de São Luis do Paraitinga, SP. Cadernos IHUideias, ano 10, n. 167, 2012.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Proibição de monocultura de eucalipto – Carta Aberta à população de São Luís do Paraitinga, SP
[click to view]

Transporte de eucaliptos é proibido em distrito de São Luiz do Paraitinga
[click to view]

Votorantim e Suzano minimizam impactos sobre São Luis do Paraitinga
[click to view]

O Saci e o Eucalipto (POETRY)
[click to view]

Eucalyptus plantation surrounding the São Luiz do Paraitinga municipality
[click to view]

Other documents

Rural property surrounded for eucalyptus Rural property sorrounded for eucalyptus, when the poisoning by herbicides applied in the eucalyptus occurred (Picture by: Marcelo Toledo)
[click to view]

Other comments:Poetry related to the environmental damage produced by the expansion of the eucalyptus plantations
"É o tal de eucalipto
Planta que não é daqui
Uma mata silenciosa
Que acabou com tudo ali
Os macacos foram embora
Até o mico e o sagüi
Que saudade do sabiá
Do sanhaço e o bem-te-vi"
Meta information
Contributor:Natalia D. Tadeu, University of São Paulo (GovAmb - USP) and Grettel Navas (EnvJustice)
Last update25/02/2018
Comments
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