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 . 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 .
There are three main cellulose and paper companies in the region, Votorantim Celulose e Papel S.A. (VCP), Suzano Papel e Celulose S.A. and Nobrecel S.A., that utilize more than 80% of eucalyptus trees grown in the region. Eucalyptus monocultures have brought new environmental and social challenges to an area already heavily deforested. The substitution of traditional agriculture activities by the crop has displaced many peasants from rural areas. The owners sign an exclusivity contract and receive payments in advance for technical support and for the company’s saplings. Some plantation workers have also denounced health impacts of the use of herbicides, such as nausea, vision loss, and lower white cell count. Furthermore, the herbicides have contaminated both underground and surface waters, causing damage to fish, livestock and fruit trees. According to locals, the agro-toxics used by in eucalyptus crops have also caused the death of many wild species. One of the aspects denounced is that the most important companies working in the area carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label for social and environmental sustainability, thus putting in question the validity of such certification procedures.
In 2007, different national and local social organizations such as the Brazil Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), the Associação de Favelas de São José dos Campos, the Convergência dos Movimentos Populares da América Latina (Compal) and the Movimento em Defesa dos Pequenos Agricultores (MDPA) marched in the municipality of São Luís do Paraitinga. They demanded the Public Ministry puts a stop and prohibits new plantations as well as punishing the paper companies for the environmental and social impacts caused, including disrespect for workers’ rights. Some people in the Catuçaba district also tried to prevent one of the companies from transporting logs using the village’s roads. A couple of months later, a Public Prosecutor from Taubaté initiated a legal action against two companies: Votorantim and Suzano. In this action, it asked that these companies pay compensation for the irregularities they’re accused to be used in environmental mitigation and restoration. Moreover, it urged for better auditing and that the governmental entities in charge are held responsible in case of not complying with their duties.   . The Civil Public Action of 2007against the Votorantim and Suzano companies focused on environmental and social impacts such as contamination of water and the superficial water flow reduction  . It was also stated that the Nobrecel company used the herbicide Scout, produced by Monsanto. After many cases of health, ecosystem and rural productions damage several social movements started a protest against the use of herbicides in the eucalyptus plantations, denouncing the monoculture expansion . The movements asked for the punishment of the three paper and mill industries based in the monoculture model, disrespecting the working rights, reduction of the food production and the agrochemicals use .
In March 2008, as a direct result of the action, a regional court of Sao Paulo State required that new crops count with an Environmental Impact Assessment prior to planting the saplings. A year later, a new court decision forbade Votorantim of cutting eucalyptus trees in the buffer zone of the Serra do Mar State Park and some areas of the Catuçaba district. The decision also prohibited the company of transporting logs through Catuçaba’s roads until carrying out an EIA and a public hearing.  . In 2009, the Court of Justice of Taubaté again decided to stop the wood cut and transportation inside the buffer zone of the Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar (a Conservancy Unit) until the presentation of the Environmental Impact Assessment  .
The study of Cantinho et al  investigated if this public decision are being respected and showed that there is a continuous expansion of the eucalyptus plantations in the area. Just like was showed for Arguello , where is possible to see that the permanent protected areas are not being respected too.