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1,500 families of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST), occupied a devoluta[1]‚ area of 4,700 hectares in the municipality of Eunápolis, in the state of Bahia. Part of the area is planted with eucalyptus trees from the Veracel Cellulose company. This company possesses more than 20 thousand hectares of eucalyptus plantations in the municipality.

The aim of this occupation is to put pressure on the Bahia state government to take over 20 thousand hectares of “devolutas” lands, which are today controlled by the Veracel (owned by Stora Enso and Aracruz Celulose), and include the lands in Agrarian Land Reform as the Federal Constitution determines. Also, the occupation intends to denounce the land concentration of the company which jeopardizes food sovereignty.

The municipality is already occupied to a large extent with eucalyptus. Figures show that certain agricultural subsistence crops in the municipality (Eunápolis) do not exist anymore. For example, the area with beans has been reduced to only 20 hectares.

Another impact is that Veracel inflated the land price.  Nowadays, it has become very difficult to buy land in the municipality, on the one hand because of the high price, on the other hand because of the fact that many agricultural lands are in the hands of the company.


Eunápolis, 8 April 2009

Alert against the Green Desert Network

[1] “devolutas” lands are lands without land registration titles in the official state institutions and according to Brazilian legislation, these lands belong to the state governments (in this case, the Bahia state government), and these governments should take over these lands and move them into small-scale agriculture. In no way does legislation allow private companies to take over and use these lands, as Veracel has done in this case.