The pulp lobby attacks

Eucalyptus is a species to be used, but with an account, weight and measure, in accordance with correct land use planning.

The pulp lobby attacks…Attacks, but with weak weapons, which are the same as always, using little transparency and attacking only those who criticize it.

An open letter with three full pages was published in several daily newspapers and in this week's Expresso, signed by a large number of personalities, with many Prof Drs and other experts (some I know from sour cherry) extolling the virtues of the industry of cellulose and the blessing that it is for us, Portuguese, to have eucalyptus here growing in considerable areas, it, the great economic asset that only brings benefits to this small garden planted by the sea!

And it is also said that they fight for a non-discriminated forest – this is precisely what the forest technicians and politicians who denounce the current “forest” want – forest is a more adequate term – Portuguese. From the forest, we still have some relics, small formations that represent what would be the natural forest cover.

The fact is that the Portuguese forest is discriminated against today, but it is in favor of eucalyptus. Now, among the fundamentalists of the industrial forest, who only want eucalyptus and the more the better, and the others, who don't want any eucalyptus, the correct position of forest technicians - and this should be the core of a national forest policy, which does not exist since the extinction of the Forestry Services - is to consider the eucalyptus as a species to be used, but with an account, weight and measure, in accordance with a correct territorial ordering, which considers all the fundamental variables, including living conditions and work of the rural population.

Ordinance where, in addition to the forest, the areas of woods are also essential, even if they do not provide sticks for pulp… But this is not of interest to the ever-increasing greed of the paper industry.

In the Público newspaper on 17 November, there was an excellent article by the forestry engineer Paulo Pimenta de Castro, whom I do not know personally, in which he exactly denounces the excesses and inaccuracies of the open letter, and presents incontestable facts and data.

As could be expected, a comment by João Soares, a forestry engineer who works for celluloses and who, as general director of the Forestry Services and Secretary of State, was one of the main responsible for the eucalyptization of the The country and the discredit of the Forestry Services themselves, which became hostages to the eucalyptus mania of those who proposed – and continue to defend – green oil.

However, in his comment, he regrettably does not refute the data and reflections of the article that criticizes and only offends and attacks the author's professional qualities – now this, from one colleague to another, it's very ugly…

But João Soares also left the question that ended the aforementioned article by Paulo Pimenta de Castro unanswered: who paid for the publication of the open letter, with three pages, in several national newspapers?

It cost a small fortune, and unless subscribers report that they have all paid for the publication, it matters to know who paid. Why? Because we know that Science is not neutral, it serves those who pay for it...

I confess that I was sad to see, in that list of subscribers, certain people that I thought immune to adhesions to these acts – conclusion, the human soul is unfathomable!!

Is that foresters like me and other technicians and Prof. Drs. environmentalists and ecologists who fight for these causes do not have the money to pay costs of this nature, nor anyone who pays us to advertise with this template. This is what discrimination is...

And, by the way, those of the open letter, if they wanted to be serious and transparent, instead of a photograph of the beautiful and huge eucalyptus in any park or garden, they should have published a photo with those dimensions – for a good look – but of a eucalyptus, with the usual absurd density, without dead blanket on the ground, without a herb, with biodiversity reduced to almost nothing...


Author Fernando Santos Pessoa
Landscape architect