FIRES IN MONOCULTURE PLANTATIONS
This series portrays the environmental tragedy that occurred in early 2017 in Chile, where the extensive presence of monoculture plantations contributed to the spread of forest fires that devastated more than 600há.
In 1974 during the Pinochet dictatorship, under the idea of establishing neoliberal economic policies to promote the private sector, the “law 701” was enacted. This law fictitiously sought to reforest and recover degraded soils, but in turn, resulted in the subsidizing of the pine and eucalyptus forest industry. Today, 80% of the forest market belongs only to two companies, whose owners are part of the 10 wealthiest and most powerful families in the country.
The uncontrolled propagation of monocultures ended with the ecological biodiversity of where they stood, acidifying the soil and impeding the growth of any other species. These monocultures of pine and eucalyptus – pyrogenic species –, have also dried up the soil and the subsoil, preventing other agriculture activities to settle in their surroundings and harming human settlements as they leave them without water.
Under this consequence, ecosystems were extinguished and chains of local production were cut completely. An enormous variety of seeds and endemic species have been lost, along with traditions such as the livestock transhumance of the Cordillera to the sea and local agricultural activities.
It is in this context that even companies have used the “green” banner of reforestation to introduce pine trees and eucalyptus as soon as space becomes available, but plantations are not forests.
This photographic documentary made in successive journeys seeks to install the theme of the importance and need to generate instruments of “Territorial Planning” and strengthen environmental regulations in order to promote a sustainable use and production of the natural resources, protect the environment, and ensure a more just and balanced society.