Smurfit, Venezuela

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns">In the State of Portuguesa in Venezuela the Irish company Smurfit Kapa has 27.000 hectares of land planted with Eucaliptus, Pinus and Gmelina. Smurfits operations had serious repercussions for poor local peasant communities with limited access to land. The company started out by deforesting the area to harvest timber, which altered the course of waterways and consequently led to the loss of local animals, fish and plants that had served as sources of food for the local population. After destroying the forests, the company began to plant fast-growing tree species eucalyptus, pine and Gmelina arborea which have a drastic impact on underground water reserves due to the large amounts of water they consume. Plantations are aimed at providing raw material for its pulp mill located in Yaracuy State (MOCARPEL). In recent times, due to communities struggles, the government decided to seize the lands in the hands of Smurfit on the grounds that the land should be used to produce food. <br/><br/></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Smurfit, Venezuela</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/venezuela">Venezuela</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>State of La Portuguesa</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>LOW country/state level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Climate change related conflicts (glaciers and small islands)<br /> Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp<br /> Dams and water distribution conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/cellulose'>Cellulose</a><br /><a href='/commodity/eucalyptus'>Eucalyptus</a><br /><a href='/commodity/electricity'>Electricity</a><br /><a href='/commodity/pine'>Pine</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">hectres of land covered by plantations</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>27000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>1998</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/smurfit-kappa-group'>Smurfit Kappa Group</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/ireland'><small>Ireland</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Amigransa</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>UNKNOWN</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Fishermen<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Pastoralists<br /> Social movements</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Blockades<br /> Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Land dispossession</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Unknown</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>..</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Descubriendo otra Venezuela. Informe de recorrida en rea de plantaciones. <br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://wrm.org.uy/paises/Venezuela/Gira2006.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Smurfit Carton de Venezuela: las plantaciones de la discordia<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.wrm.org.uy/paises/Venezuela/discordia.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Venezuela: Seizure of Smurfit tree plantations sets new course for the future<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/141/Venezuela.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>teresa perez</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/04/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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