Hendrik Weimer's Quantenblog

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Enviromental Impacts of Eucalyptus Plantations in Brazil

2010-02-08

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In recent days, you might have seen web adverts for investing into Brazilian eucalyptus plantations, even on technically oriented sites. While the investment may sound financially attractive it presumably involves several ethical hazards.

Eucalyptus plantation inside rainforest in Brazil (photo by Claus Bunk)

Eucalyptus plantation inside rainforest in Brazil (photo by Claus Bunk)
(click to enlarge)

Eucalyptus plantations are responsible for a variety of enviromental and social problems in South America:

I hope this list convinces you to better not invest into eucalyptus plantations, espcially in Brazil. Even relying on a certification by the Forest Stewardship Council is difficult, as they were met with harsh criticism for cooperating with eucalyptus and pine plantation owners (although some NGOs like Greenpeace still work with them). If you don't know where to put your money, you might want to have a look at the rapidly growing branch of socially-responsible investing.

Generally speaking, I don't think one should ban such advertizements outright. However, if you run a company whose motto is "Don't be evil" and if you restrict the allowed content anyway, it would rather be appropriate to stop serving such ads. For what it's worth, I have chosen to blacklist them on this blog and my other sites. If you still see one of them around, please let me know.

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