Released Friday, October 18th:
Students Rally to Demand Justice at Harvard’s Timber Plantations
Protest responds to reports of controversial environmental and social practices at Harvard-owned timber companies in Argentina
Cambridge, MA–Earlier today, 40 students rallied in Harvard Yard against the expansion of the university’s timber plantations in the world’s second largest wetlands region, the Iberá Wetlands of northern Argentina.
During the rally, students delivered a letter addressed to President Faust that was written by farmers whose lives have been threatened by Harvard-owned plantations. The letter demanded that Harvard halt the expansion of its timber plantations in the region, and that the university address community concerns regarding the timber plantations.
“President Faust is accountable for the conduct of this university, and these plantations are no exception,” said Gabriel Bayard, a Harvard junior who has visited the plantations in Argentina. “The blatant disregard for Harvard values is shocking. I hope that she halts the expansion of these plantations immediately.”
The rally and letter delivery arose in response to the recent release of a report by the Oakland Institute and the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition which documented the damaging effects of Harvard-owned companies on ecosystems and local communities in Argentina.