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
NameEucalyptus plantations in São Luiz do Paraitinga. “Deserto Verde” in São Paulo, Brazil
CountryBrazil
ProvinceSão Paulo
SiteSão 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 CommoditiesCellulose
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);

- In the following decade, the 2000s, the total area planted with eucalyptus increased to 7.836 ha or 12,7% of the total area of the municipality (Oliveira, 2011);

- Arguello (2010) showed in his study that the plantation of the eucalyptus keep forwards over preservation areas (APP – Permanent Protection Areas stablished by national law) of high declivity, rivers and stream springs and floodplains. In this study is possible to perceive that all this categories presented an increase in the eucalyptus area planted between 2000 and 2007;

- In the eucaliptus plantations there are only temporary employments.

In 2009, Fibria Celulose was created by a merger between Aracruz Celulose and Votorantim Celulose e Papel, positioned as a global leader in pulp, with production capacity exceeding six million tons of pulp and paper produced in seven factories distributed in five Brazilian states.
Project Area (in hectares)61,700
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date25/11/2006
Company Names or State EnterprisesNobrecel from Brazil
Votorantim Group from Brazil
Suzano Papel e Celulose and Suzano Renewable Energy from Brazil
Relevant government actorsTribunal de Justiça de São Paulo (TJ/SP); Defensoria Pública do Estado (DPE); Tribunal de Taubaté.
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersBrazil 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)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Informal workers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Religious groups
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
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
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
OtherTOLEDO, 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…)
OtherDE 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-economic ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Displacement
Potential: Land dispossession
Other"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
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of AlternativesSome 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 as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.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
Legislations

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

[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.

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]

Links

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]

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]

Media Links

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

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]

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 CommentsPoetry 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
ContributorNatalia D. Tadeu, University of São Paulo (GovAmb - USP) and Grettel Navas (EnvJustice)
Last update25/02/2018
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