Harvard owns 87,000 hectares of land in Corrientes, Argentina, where there are eucalyptus and pine plantations that are managed by the companies: Empresas Verdes Argentinas S.A.
(EVASA) and Las Misiones S.A. Pine trees consume more water than native species, causing a drastic reduction in groundwater in the region. Trees do not provide food for local animals, so their habitat has also been affected. In addition, pesticides are used in the plantations, which pollute the air and water.
Harvard maintains that these plantations are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and that they do not harm the environment, but the impacts are being seen in the region. Damage to the ecosystem, coupled with encroachment on lands traditionally managed by local communities, has deprived many of their livelihoods. Plantation workers work long hours for inadequate pay in dangerous conditions.
Emilio Spataro, a militant who works with local farmers in Corrientes, said that for hundreds of years the region was full of swamps, fertile agricultural land and pastures. Spataro maintains that in less than ten years the land was destroyed by pine and eucalyptus plantations.
This situation must end. We urge Harvard University to stop investing in this project immediately, to use its money more responsibly, and to publicly question the Forest Stewardship Council for allowing such a damaging project to appear ethical and responsible.
Please write to the Harvard directors to demand justice for the environment and the people of Corrientes, Argentina.
SIGN THE LETTER HERE:
Friends of the earth