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Suzano biomass plantations, Brazil


The Suzano company was created in 1924 in So Paulo, for pulp and paper production. Investments in the Northeast started a few decades ago, mainly for charcoal production. However in recent years plantations in Maranho and neighboring Northeastern states of Brazil Piau and Tocantins are increasing fast. Suzano plans to build a pulp mill in Maranho, and another in Piaui to produce 3 million tons of pulp in 2016. Also it plans through an especially created company, Suzano Renewable Energy, to implement specific biomass plantations and a wood pellet industry in Chapadinha to export wood to the EU, especially to England that is rapidly building wood power facilities. It bought recently FuturaGene, a UK-based genetic modification company.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Suzano biomass plantations, Brazil
State or province:Maranho
Location of conflict:Chapadinha
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
Coal extraction and processing
Specific commodities:Coal

Project Details and Actors
Project details

Suzano Renewable Energy plans to produce from 2013 on about 3 million tons of wood pellets per year

Project area:70000
Level of Investment:US$ 1.3 billion for the biomass project
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Suzano Papel e Celulose and Suzano Renewable Energy from Brazil
Relevant government actors:BNDES
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:WRM, The Movement of Small Peasants, MST, Via Campesina
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Desertification/Drought, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Until now Suzano has caused several negative impacts on local rural communities, an increase in plantations for wood pellets for export tends to aggravate this sitution.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

World Rainforest Movement
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World Rainforest Movement
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Meta information
Contributor:Winnie Overbeek
Last update18/08/2019
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