The conflict over Veracel pulpwood plantations in Brazil: Application of Ethical Analysis

Markus Kröger, Jan-Erik Nylund

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The large-scale pulp investment model, with its pressure on land, has created conflict and caused major disagreements and open hostility amongst the social movement and NGO networks, state actors, and the pulp and paper companies in Brazil. In this article, Ethical Analysis was applied in the assessment of the dynamics and possibilities of conflict resolution related to the expansion of pulpwood plantations in Brazil's Bahia State, particularly near Veracel Celulose. Ethical Analysis as a tool identifies the complex dynamics of contention through identifying bridges and rifts in the social, ecological and economic viewpoints of the main actors. The analysis was based on field research, interviews, and a review of existing literature. The results indicated that the conflict is marked by politics of power, and as long as this stage continues, the politics of cooperation and conflict resolution would be hard to achieve. The key actors have diverging interests, values and principles, and different ways of presenting their viewpoints. The current investment context is economically and institutionally peripheral and socially weak. Without a radical rethinking and emphasis on ethical and structural reworking of the investment model, the conflict will likely continue to deepen, aggravating investment risk for large-scale business and industrial forestry.
Original languageEnglish
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)74-82
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science

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