Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

'eucalypt-free-zone' municipalities:analysis of the local political actors in Galicia, Spain.

Abstract

The controversy around the eucalypt plantations transcends in Galicia its forest policy and encompasses today the less-studied social and political contexts. Whilst none of its species have been catalogued by the Spanish Government as invasive species, many local governments areassembling together to influence and reverse the situation. Taking this into account, this work studies the values, attitudes and political behaviors inherent in the fight against the expansion of eucalypts. Specifically, we examine at the local scale and through the cognitive hierarchy theory and discourse analysis, 20 cases of local governments that debate its own "Eucalypt-Free-Zone"declaration. Our analysis reveals that the conventional left -right spectrum is reproduced within the parties along their valuation of eucalypt plantations. Namely, those arguments based on theeconomic and social values adopt greater importance compared to the ecological and environmental ones. This hierarchy generates political isolation and motivates the absence of consensus. Therefore, we conclude that only an eventual decrease in wood price would motivate a relevant turn of political attitudes towards its management. Furthermore, the improvised inclusion of political debates perpetuates or even emphasizes the divergences of sectoral interests in the management of eucalypts.