Following the devastating wildfires of 2017, PS Socialists pledged to limit the planting of fire-spreading eucalyptus. But media reports have revealed there are licences still in place allowing for the planting of “even more” of these trees until the end of 2019. This is because the licences were obtained under a law that only ‘fell’ on December 31, 2017 and gave pulp producers two years of planting authorisation.
The fact that a new law prohibiting any proliferation of eucalyptus plantations came into effect on the very next day has not changed the permissions one jot – leaving a whole year now for pulp companies to plant to their hearts’ content.
Making the situation even worse is the fact that eucalyptus trees grow wherever their seeds have fallen – and in wildfires seeds can be projected for over 100 metres.
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa highlighted this dilemma late last year, saying it was a huge challenge that can only be overcome by local communities rolling up their sleeves and tackling the ‘enemy’ head on (click here).