Note: We released this short 5 minute video on the International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations in 2010, but it is as relevant now as it was then. We dedicate it in the memory of World Rainforest Movement’s Ricardo Carrere, a friend and great leader in the struggle to protect the world’s forests. ¡Ricardo Carrere Presente!
–The GJEP Team
Southern U.S. States Targeted for Genetically Engineered Tree Plantations
United States–Today is the International Day Against Tree Monocultures . Across the globe, timber plantations are wreaking havoc on forests and forest dependent communities. Now, to further exacerbate this damage, genetically engineered trees (or GE trees) pose a new and unprecedented threat.
The Dogwood Alliance’s Executive Director, Danna Smith said, “The USDA recently approved a request by GE tree company ArborGen, headquartered in South Carolina, to plant over a quarter of a million genetically engineered eucalyptus trees across Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina, —many of the same regions still trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill. This would be another disaster for the region.”
Like kudzu, eucalyptus trees are wildly invasive, and spread into native ecosystems, displacing wildlife. Additionally, the oil in these eucalyptus trees is extremely flammable. California spends millions each year to eradicate invasive eucalyptus because of the threat of wildfires. In 2009 over 200 people were killed in Australia in a firestorm fuelled by eucalyptus. It was the worst fire in the country’s history.
On July 1, 2010 Global Justice Ecology Project, Dogwood Alliance, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, and the International Center for Technology Assessment filed a lawsuit to stop ArborGen’s GE eucalyptus due to their potential impacts .
“It’s time for people to understand that GE trees must be banned and that plantations are not forests,” remarked Orin Langelle, Global Justice Ecology Project Co-Director/Strategist.
NOTES to Editors:  In 2004, September 21st was declared the International Day Against Tree Monocultures by organizations throughout the world. On this day, people in every continent carry out actions to generate awareness about the impacts of large scale tree monocultures on communities and their environments. For more info, see www.wrm.org.uy
 For background on the lawsuit click here.