In response to Harvard’s statement about its timber plantations in Corrientes, Argentina:
Harvard has failed to address the serious allegations raised in a report released this week by the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition and the Oakland Institute. The communities harmed by Harvard’s large-scale timber plantations in the Iberá Wetlands of Argentina are not asking for Harvard to simply check the right boxes – they’re asking that Harvard stop expanding the plantations, abide by local laws, and respect their way of life.
As a global leader, Harvard has a responsibility to ensure that its investments align with its values. In divesting from apartheid South Africa and from Sudan – after strident student and alumni protest – Harvard showed its commitment to those values. Harvard’s lack of response to multiple fines levied against its Chilean timber plantation, however, casts doubt on the sincerity of Harvard’s desire to respect local communities, even in the face of legal action. The same is true of Harvard’s business practices in Corrientes.
Community leaders from Corrientes and members of the Harvard community are calling on Harvard University to respect the residents and environment of Corrientes just as it respects those of Cambridge.
On Friday, October 18th at 3pm, RI@Harvard will deliver a letter from community leaders of Corrientes to President Faust. Details here.
Please join us on the steps of Widener Library to demand that Harvard stop subsidizing its wealth at the expense of poor communities.