Press release: Golden opportunity to stop deforestation caused by EU consumption
100+ NGOs launch #Together4Forests urging EU action
Fires raging in the Amazon are started deliberately to make way for large-scale industrial agriculture – and EU market demand for commodities produced on former-forest land is adding fuel to the fires. Globally, the EU is responsible for over 10% of forest destruction through its consumption of commodities like meat, dairy, soy for animal feed, palm oil, coffee and cacao.
#Together4Forests, a group of 100+ NGOs, is urging citizens to take part in a European Commission public consultation on deforestation to push for a strong EU law to keep products linked to deforestation, forest fires, nature destruction and human rights violations off the European market.
Anke Schulmeister-Oldenhove, Senior Forest Policy Officer at WWF EU said: "Products containing deforestation are in our shopping trolley. This must stop! Forests and other ecosystems across the world are an essential shield against climate breakdown, pandemics and the biodiversity crash, but EU consumption is weakening that shield. We urge the EU to introduce a strong law to keep forest destruction products off the market."
WWF together with Greenpeace, ClientEarth, Conservation International, Environmental Investigation Agency and Wildlife Conservation Society, have now launched a campaign to ensure that citizens have the opportunity to make their voice heard.
Deforestation is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Agriculture is responsible for 80% of deforestation for products like soy, beef and palm oil, and the EU is a top importer. According to the European Commission, in 2019 the EU accounted for 17% of global demand for palm oil, 15% of soy, 25% of rubber, 41% of beef, 80% of cocoa and 60% of coffee.
The European Commission has pledged to propose new legislation to address deforestation in 2021. But to avoid shifting the destruction of nature to other vital natural habitats, it must also protect grasslands, savannahs and wetlands, as well as forests.
The law must also protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities – they are recognised stewards of their lands and their knowledge is crucial to preventing biodiversity loss. Stopping deforestation will not be possible without them.
The #Together4Forests movement is calling on the EU to introduce a new law to tackle its contribution to global deforestation and to ensure that nothing sold in Europe contributes to forest or ecosystem destruction, or related human rights abuses.
- Learn more about deforestation and this movement: https://together4forests.eu/
- Supporting organisations can be found here [add link] - this movement is still growing every day
In the Netherlands, the campaign is supported by Greenpeace, Wereld Natuur Fonds (WWF), IUCN-NL, Vogelbescherming Nederland, Tropenbos International and Both ENDS.
WWF is taking care of press requests for this campaign in the Netherlands:
Press officer Wereld Natuur Fonds (WWF)
Read more about this subject
Press release / 14 December 2020
Record submissions to public consultation urge EU to act on deforestation
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Press release / 6 May 2019
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Letter / 18 October 2022
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News / 18 June 2019
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News / 15 May 2018
Driving on palm oil: a dead end
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News / 28 June 2018
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External link / 20 July 2021
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Systemic change is urgently needed to protect the Earth's forests and the rights of forest peoples. Deforestation and forest degradation are driven by global demand for products like palm oil and soy. Tackling the problem requires not reduced demand and better policies and practices at international levels, but also improved recognition of community land rights – a key focus of our work with partners in 2020.
Publication / 18 November 2013
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