By GRR Rural Reflection Group
This time, large-scale industrial forestation is proposed to us, a commercial project that is a firm continuity of the worst practices and aggressions against Nature and the populations, which we have suffered up to now. The forests always contain fauna and flora in their bosom, but they are also the natural habitat of Creole peasants and native peoples.
In front of the World Forestry Congress (CFM) we have convened from the GRR, in defense of the mountain, the forest and the jungle. We have convened to become aware of the new threats and put them on paper. We have also met to evaluate our current devastated ecosystems or in a state of extreme danger and to reflect on the deepening of the extractive race on a world scale that also speculates with our territory. This time, large-scale industrial afforestation is proposed to us, a commercial project that we do not hesitate to visualize as a firm continuity of the worst practices and aggressions against Nature and the populations, which we have suffered so far. Even more so, we think that forestry agribusiness offers us monocultures, as much or more dangerous than soybeans.
In the neocolonial relationships that the Transnational Corporations and globalized capitalism establish with our countries, they try to replace the values of life with accounting equations. In this way, criteria of growth and scale are imposed, where technologies and progress are worshiped, totally missing, together with any promise of justice, the objective of ensuring the good life of our peoples. The political result of these submissions of the leaderships to the criteria of globalized power and to the new national dependencies are the general loss of identity and widespread unhappiness, as well as a gigantic ecological debt that mortgages the environment that surrounds us and compromises the fate of the next generations ...
Faced with the CFM (1) and its misleading advertising backed by the highest officials of the Nation, we reaffirm that biodiverse native forests and mountains are the basis of life on the planet and that tree plantations are not "forests" , as they tell us, but they are mere monocultures of trees (2). The forests always contain fauna and flora in their bosom, but they are also the natural habitat of Creole peasants and native peoples. It would be impossible to imagine the mountain, the forest or the jungle without the presence of a man with roots and with a culture adapted to the circumstances of the habitat and with productive models on a local scale. The same is not the case with tree monocultures, no matter what species they are. In front of them, life recedes, retreats, the human is absent and biodiversity disappears. In the monoculture of trees, the monotony of the plantation is imposed on us over the festival of diversity in Nature. From these perspectives, talking about recovering a forest is much more than planting trees, any tree, and anywhere. In this sense, the ceremony of support for the CFM carried out by the Minister of Defense Nilda Garré with some soldiers planting a small tree on a military property seems painful and misleading, and we reiterate that here it is not about planting trees, but about the landing of agribusiness forest on soybean lands. We also reject the announced use of lands administered by the Armed Forces (3) for the same purpose. Instead, we propose that they give examples of defending biodiversity and food sovereignty, starting with their direct environment.
In this post-globalization stage, of certified markets and supposed knowledge societies, the spaces dedicated to green make-up and the complicities of various colors seem to be the new rule. In particular, large NGOs have gradually become complicit in the new policies designed from Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Social Responsibility. They are served by an environmentalism (4) willing to cover up the new mechanisms of international domination and impede the awareness of the populations. In our countries, where the idea of Sovereignty seems to have been erased from speeches and political agendas, there is nevertheless ample space to install issues such as biotechnological sovereignty. In short, it is about the rights that our leaderships associated with the Corporations claim, to have the royalties and patents corresponding to the new scientific productions carried out on request and under science and business research strategies, with the purpose of replicating them on other countries , the same model of contamination and looting that has been imposed in Argentina.
Both we, as GRR, as well as the networks of related organizations that we promote organize themselves in defense of the mountain, the forest and the jungle, we should advance in the plane of thought to investigate the mechanisms of these new transnational colonies, uncover the new equations of international subordination, of its unacceptable divisions of labor, and to reveal the ideological mechanisms that prevent us from understanding what is happening to us. We should be able to confront and anticipate the multidisciplinary teams of the companies that are co-opting the speeches, appropriating and resignifying the concepts with which we were dealing until yesterday. Their think tanks do not rest, and they have managed to change the sustainable developments already co-opted to their speeches, for those of "clean development mechanisms" that amount, ultimately, to a similar trap. The same thing, when they argue that pristine native forests no longer exist, that they can now be categorized as degraded forests, and that this entitles companies to continue clearing. Once again, they put their dispositions above Nature and instead of remedying or recovering, they only propose to continue with the devastation. But we, beyond clumsy or misleading arguments, have the tremendous force of reality and the need to recover ecosystems, truths that are born in that tormented incarnation of Latin America, subjected to the impious rules of pollution and looting. , as well as our will to survive.
In the face of lying discourses we must redefine, especially, the concept of sustainability, and we must do so from the ecology and remembering the climatic changes as a consequence of the pollution processes caused by globalized Capitalism. If we are not able to specify that sustainability is always ecological and that we must absolutely separate it from the concept of profitability, we will be like so many others, who get lost in discourses that exalt the merely social or the alleged economic and social sustainability. These last speeches have more to do with the criteria of profitability and technocratic dominance that have placed us in the current situation of extreme risk in which we live, and at present, they become obsolete and have little to do with the struggle of the Peoples to survive . These discourses are perfectly functional to the imposed exploitation systems.
The greatest thinkers have always placed their concerns on man, on how to face his ravings, his problems, his unhappiness or his ignorance. Today the empire of business science drowns Nature and dispenses with man. The question we ask ourselves is: who are the ones who decide, who are the expendable? The first world decides, in fact ... They are generating this model of domination and business, they are not co-inhabitants of the world, but they decide on a large scale what is going to happen to the world ... On a globalized planet and governed by the strict rules of consumerism, the military industry and extractive systems, those who consume the least will inevitably be the expendable, the new condemned on Earth ...
The Bio and Nano-technological Revolution that is now being sold to us is the direct continuation of the “Green Revolution” that applied warlike criteria, toxic inputs and mechanization derived from the two great world wars in agriculture. This presumed Green Revolution and its biotechnological continuation, has generated hunger, uprooting and unspeakable misery in a world dragged into a process of serious and growing climate changes and ecological catastrophes. The latest information refers to the number of hungry people exceeding a thousand million people. And the process of expulsion of peasant populations from their territories continues to accelerate, and with these processes, food insecurity increases in a catastrophic way. In the midst of the depletion of fossil resources, it is possible to suppose that the end of the fabulous source of energy that oil meant and still means for humanity will cause collapses that are difficult to foresee, and that this imposed model of territories emptied of their populations and of huge megalopolises surrounded by huge conurbations of misery and overcrowding, it can mean a dreadful trap for an important part of the planet's population, irretrievably condemned under these conditions, to their physical disappearance.
Our experience is that over the last few years Argentina has developed decisive State Policies from companies or cliques entrenched in the civil service apparatuses. However, knowledge of these policies are reserved only to the experts, not even many of the leaders in charge of enforcing them, are aware of them, or are aware of their implications.
The governments of Argentina, subjected to the new corporate dominions, cannot make transparent the objectives that their accomplices leaders give themselves, they cannot assume the subaltern goals that commit them and that have little to do with their public political speeches. Furthermore, the elected politicians not only do not report to their bases what they do, but they do not even allow those who vote for them in the popular neighborhoods to know what functions they carry out as deputies or senators or in which Commissions. they do. Instead of studying the multiple consequences, the complex analysis is replaced by environmental impact studies managed with administrative cunning, but irresponsible from the social and ecological aspects. Similar to the mechanisms of a military coup, a system of secrecy and complicity, systematically undermines Democracy and allows maintaining a controlled political life and shadows in the information necessary for the interpretation of the facts, a political life of low intensity of participation in which huge areas of knowledge are made invisible or persistently silenced. This form of politics is a mode of privatization of politics. It is the technocratic asphyxia that suffocates public life.
In the case of the recent World Forestry Congress, exactly that happened. About five thousand people from different countries of the world gathered, without the Argentine media publishing but very few lines about it, and despite the enormous support received from the highest government authorities, the largest enclave of forestry agribusiness was not a reason for analysis - and even less critical - by the political press. The media opted for the simplifications that characterize public relations.
In the case of the next United Nations Summit in Denmark to discuss the protocols against Climate Change, exactly the same happens. Public instructions from the Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are usually sufficiently bland and abstract, such as recommending greater food security in the world, through productive efficiency mechanisms, while ensuring free trade without major impediments. It is about masking the master plan of corporate interests, which consists of promoting transgenics, proposing direct seeding for the carbon credit market and continuing with Argentina's unrestricted support for the World Trade Organization.
We as GRR, bet on the small scale, according to favorable evidence, achieved in different parts of the world and also, by our own experiences. We are certain that only small scales have the possibility of surviving in a world in a state of catastrophe, and also, being sustainable. It is also evident that small self-sustaining communities differ in their resilience from large conglomerates of people, dependent on both energy and food provision from remote areas. We propose local productions and local consumption. From that perspective, the only possible and real mitigation is to end dependence on large markets and long distances.
Meanwhile, and despite incontestable evidence of how hunger is growing in the world and in Argentina itself, the prolonged circus between the government and the Mesa de Enlace has concluded with a happy ending for the imposed system. In the procession to Luján, all the protagonists fraternized in a hypocritical way. These agreements have borne fruit in a new Ministry ostensibly governed by the men of the granary companies and agro-exports. It is decisive for the system established in Argentina, that the image and the political discourses conceal the corporate agribusiness model based on the extractive systems and the production of commodities, agrofuels and now planted trees. In this cover-up and in these simulations, lies the possibility of continuing to serve as a spearhead for transnational corporations at the international level, while operating as progressives at the domestic level. Revealing this apparent schizophrenia that hides the new submissions consented to by a renegade leadership of its land and its origins, is an important part of the struggle that we have proposed ourselves, to recover a National Project, in an Argentina with Food Sovereignty and Social Justice.
GRR Rural Reflection Group - 1/11 2009 - www.grr.org.ar
(1) The XIII World Forestry Congress was held in the city of Buenos Aires from October 18 to 23. Although the forum does not have executive functions, its recommendations are taken into account by governments and international organizations in the formulation of their policies on the environment and forestry. It should be noted that for the first time this congress included a business round. There, 205 companies from five continents participated and deals for 36 million dollars were completed.
(2) In order to encourage forestry activity, the Chamber of Deputies approved the ten-year extension of Law 25,080 on Investments for Cultivated Forests. The extension, sanctioned in November 2008, had the support of Carlos Cheppi from the AGPyA secretary and was promoted by Senators Urquía, Capitanich and others who presented the bill.
(3) More information about the Bicentennial Forest Plan of the Remonta and Veterinary Command at
(4) As an example, we can cite the initiative to form the FSC Association in Argentina, which plans to become the national certifier with the endorsement of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Coordinated by Emiliano Ezcurra (former Greenpeace), the association promotes a forest certification system based on international standards. It would be a "green" label, like "responsible" soy, endorsed by supposedly environmental organizations.