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Smurfit-Kappa, Colombia

During the more than fifty years that they have been on Colombian territory, the company destroyed a part of the tropical rainforest area in Valle del Cauca (the biogeographical Choco region) and the Andes.


During the more than fifty years that they have been on Colombian territory, the company has destroyed a considerable part of the tropical rainforest area in Lower Calima in the Department of Valle del Cauca (the biogeographical Choco region) and the Andes. In 2009 a member of CENSAT, Friends of the Earth, Colombia, Diego Alejandro Cardona, described the problem in an interview with Radio Mundo Real: "In terms of forestry, the trees planted (pine, eucalyptus) occupy 250 thousand hectares and are located in strategic regions due to their water resources... This is causing the appropriation of territories in the sources of several community aqueducts of the country, affecting water sovereignty and restricting access to water for native, rural and also urban communities from several regions of the country. Other monocultures to produce biofuels, such as palm oil, have caused serious conflicts in Afro-Colombian populations, violating human and environmental rights and destroying ecosystems." Cardona also pointed out that since 1970s, when tree monoculture plantations began to appear, indigenous, black and peasant people started to carry out a strong resistance. "People started to sell or rent their lands and when that happens there is only trees, and not children going to school, public transport, or social dynamics like markets", said the Colombian activist. One of the main forestry multinational companies in Colombia is Dutch-Irish Smurfit Kappa Group, through its subsidiary "Carton de Colombia". 

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Smurfit-Kappa, Colombia
State or province:Department of Valle del Cauca
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:Ethanol
Carbon offsets

Project Details and Actors
Project details

Thousand ha of land planted with Eucalyptus and Pines to produce paper and carboard for export.

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Project area:69111
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Smurfit Kappa Group from Ireland
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Environment, Colombia, National planning Department
International and Finance InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Censat - Friends of the Earth Colombia, Grupos Ecologicos de Risaralda, Fundacion Ecologica Cosmos
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Desertification/Drought
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Smurfit continues to operate.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Law 1377, which regulates commercial reforestation activity

National Development plan (further expansion of plantations)

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

Memorias del Foro Realizado en el Dia Internacional contra los Monocultivos de arboles
[click to view]

El Imperio del Carton. Author: Joe Broderick

Video: Planta Acciones, No Plantaciones!

WRM web section focused on Colombia :
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

2006, Carta de WRM para exigir la descertificación de Carton de Colombia
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Teresa Perez
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1071
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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