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Florestaminas and Replasa plantations, Brazil


In the 1970ies the northern region of Minas Gerais was taken over by companies planting monoculture eucalyptus plantations for charcoal, the energy source used in the production of iron and steel in the scores of metal works located in the State. The invasion of eucalyptus trees was devastating. The companies managed to plant over one million hectares of eucalyptus, forming one of the world’s largest continuous tract of plantations of this monoculture. Two of these companies are Florestaminas and Replasa that took the lands of respectively Vereda Funda and Raíz, two geraizeiro communities. The community of Vereda Funda and Raiz got expelled in the 1970ies, when the state government of Minas Gerais rent their lands to the plantation companies. The communities were tenants, they had often no official land titles. There are other similar land conflicts in the region, about 15 at least.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Florestaminas and Replasa plantations, Brazil
State or province:Rio Pardo
Location of conflict:Minas Gerais
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
Specific commodities:Charcoal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Charcoal is energy source for pig iron production

Project area:240000: Florestaminas total area
21000: Replasa Plantation area
Type of populationRural
Affected Population::hundreds of peasant families
Start of the conflict:1970
Company names or state enterprises:Florestaminas from Brazil
Replasa from Brazil
Relevant government actors:State government of Minas Gerais rent lands to the companies
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Alert against the Green Desert Network; CAA-Norte de Minas, Via Campesina and local rural workers trade unions, WRM
Conflict & Mobilization
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Landless peasants
Forms of mobilization:Land occupation
Official complaint letters and petitions
Meetings with authorities; seminars; letters to the government, etc.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Development of alternatives:Recover the biome of the area (cerrado) and small-scale agriculture
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Following expiry of the contract and inspired by the struggle of the Tupiniquim and Guarani indigenous people from Espírito Santo, in 2005 the community of Vereda Funda recovered an area of 5 thousand hectares with the support of Via Campesina, CAA and local rural workers trade union.The community of Vereda Funda achieved definitive control of the area which the state of Minas Gerais and has made efforts to transfer to INCRA- a federal institution for agrarian reform – in order to set up an agro-extractivist settlement; this negotiation, also involving state authorities, continues. The community Raíz tried to do the same on its community area invades by Replase. The occupation carried out in 2009 was not sucessful yet.
Sources & Materials
Meta information
Contributor:Winnie Overbeek
Last update18/08/2019
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