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Speakers from Brazil and the US will present first-hand experience of the impacts of the UK's biomass policies on forests and people in their countries. This includes a presentation about the first ever case study published anywhere in the world about a land-grab for tree plantations specifically to grow wood to burn in our power stations (in Maranhão, Brazil). Those presentations will be followed by evidence about the impacts of biomass power stations on UK communities, especially on air quality and public health.
Winnie Overbeek, Coordinator of the World Rainforest Movement, will give a presentation about the impacts of eucalyptus plantations for wood pellet production in the Brazilian state of Maranhão on communities and Cerrado forests. Those plantations are being established by the Brazilian pulp and paper company Suzano Papel e Celulose, which has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with UK biomass company MGT Power. MGT plans to build two large biomass power stations in the north-east of England and already has planning permission for one of them.
Scot Quaranda from the US conservation NGO Dogwood Alliance will speak about the impacts of pellet production by Drax’s supplier Enviva on southern US forests – including on remnants of highly biodiverse wetland forests.
Sophie Bastable from Biofuelwatch will summarise key impacts of biomass power stations on communities in the UK, especially on air quality and public health. We hope to also have a speaker from one of the affected UK communities.
The event coincides with the launch of a new report by Biofuelwatch, called Biomass: The Chain of Destruction. This will include an investigative report of biomass plantations in Maranhão, Brazil by World Rainforest Movement and CEPEDES (Center for Study and Research for the Development of the Southern Bahia Region). It will also include testimonies from Dogwood Alliance and from several community groups affected by UK biomass power stations.