In October 2013, the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition and the Oakland Institute released a report revealing that two Harvard-owned industrial timber plantations in Corrientes, Argentina are degrading the Iberá Wetlands ecosystem and endangering thousands of farmers in the region.
Together, Harvard’s timber companies in Corrientes, Argentina–EVASA and Las Misiones–are worth $55.2 million and encompass 217,166 acres of land, more than 50 times the size of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since it purchased the companies in 2007, the university has rapidly expanded the timber plantations into protected wetland areas and surrounding communities.
According to residents in nearby communities, the plantations reduce the productivity of their farms, create public health problems, and cause damage to public roads.
RI@Harvard is working with community leaders to demand that Harvard be a responsible owner of these plantations, specifically by meeting three demands laid out in a letter presented to Drew Faust on October 19th–that Harvard:
1) Stop expanding the plantations until completing a participatory study of their environmental and community impacts.
2) Remove all plantations within 2,000 meters from our communities.
3) Comply with all legally required employment practices, which are currently being ignored.
Pledge your support here: http://eepurl.com/GuSg5