Muutos ei tapahdu itsestään,
se on tehtävä!

100+ Organizations sign statement against new UPM mill in Uruguay


More than a hundred groups from all over the world oppose to UPM2
Uruguayan, Finnish and International social organizations and environmental groups sent to Finnish parliamentary members and distributed widely a joint declaration rejecting the installation of UPM’s new pulp mill in Uruguay

In response to the recent announcement by the transnational company UPM that it will install a second pulp mill in Uruguay, one of the largest in the world, more than a hundred organizations sent a document to Finnish parliamentarians in which they point out the economic, environmental and social negative effects the project can produce. In the context of a global socio-environmental crisis, they point out that this project represents a step in the wrong direction and explain the reasons.

Among those reasons they point out the following:
UPM’s new megaproject will contribute to environmental degradation promoting the expansion of monoculture tree plantations, that were and will be established in Uruguay’s natural grasslands. These tree plantations are less efficient as carbon sequestration than natural pastures and native forests and negatively impact biodiversity. The worst environmental impact will be to an already compromised water system. These impacts on water and soil characteristics compromise Uruguay’s future capacity to cultivate food.

UPM’s new megaproject will further economic inequality. The company will invest 2.4 billion dollars, while Uruguay will spend an estimated 4 billion dollars to improve infrastructure to meet the company's requirements. UPM will be in a free zone, exempt from paying various taxes and will sell its excess energy to Uruguay, which is obliged to buy it even if it is not necessary. The transnational company obtains great benefits in exchange for a few thousand temporary workers. The jobs generated by the plant outside the two years of construction do not compensate for lost jobs as a result of industrial tree plantations and the displacement of rural producers from the territory.

UPM’s new megaproject weakens community participation. This project does not have a social license. The agreement between UPM and Uruguay was not approved by the Uruguayan Parliament and citizens did not have access to information and participation in the decision-making process. The project will completely disrupt people's lives, with a freight train that transports highly toxic substances, divides cities and towns in the countryside and fragments working-class neighborhoods in the country's capital. In addition, the contract includes requirements for the reduction of labor rights and influence in educational policies.

The statement concludes that there is no planet B, pointing out it is unsustainable to continue promoting projects that consider environmental impacts, social justice and human rights as secondary issues. They support collaborations between countries that result in equitable good quality jobs that serve to regenerate and protect our environment.
August 5, 2019
Declaration with signatures at sidebar and here.
Contacts in Uruguay:
Mariana Achugar mariana_achugar(at) +598 92010568 (English and Spanish)
Ana Filippini anafili2(at) +598 98407572 (English and Spanish)

International contacts:
Merel van der Mark merel(at) EPN+ 351 915 264 382 (English and Spanish)
Noora Ojala noora.ojala(at) Friends of the Earth Finland +358-45-6730713 (English and Finnish)