by Theo Stanley
Companies have long been promising they will eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. But as the latest Forest 500 report finds, voluntary progress has failed. Now is the time for governments to ramp up their efforts to address tropical deforestation, by introducing strong regulations.
The European Union (EU) currently has no legislation to ensure that companies source deforestation-free agricultural commodities. But the EU’s recent Action Plan on forests opens the door for a new law. …
The message from the launch of the latest Forest 500 annual report couldn’t be clearer. Even as we hit 2020, the ambitious deadline set by many companies to remove deforestation from their supply chains, almost half of the most influential companies and financial institutions in these ‘forest-risk’ commodity supply chains do not have a public policy on deforestation.
This lack of progress is highlighted in the report’s key findings:
by James Hulse
All economic activity depends on natural assets — such as water, forests and clean air. Manufacturers must have access to water to build cars; the agriculture sector needs bees and other pollinators to grow crops without excessive costs.
These natural assets are increasingly being degraded by pressures such as pollution, deforestation and climate change. Financial institutions are in turn exposed to natural capital risks that affect the businesses that they invest in, lend to, or insure.
In 2020, for the first time, the World Economic Forum’s top five global risks were all environmental, including major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse. …
by Theo Stanley
As greenhouse gas concentrations reach record highs, delegates at the UN climate talks in Madrid (COP25) are discussing how to ramp up ambition on action on climate change. Today is Forest Day at COP25 and delegates should be looking at how forests can be part of their climate solution.
Protecting and restoring forests can contribute more than one-third of the total carbon dioxide mitigation required by 2030, to achieve the Paris Agreement’s pledge to keep temperatures below a two degree rise. But forests are often sidelined in international climate negotiations. …
by Theo Stanley
For the last three years, the number of undernourished people has slowly grown. According to the FAO more than 820 million people are hungry today.
As we mark World Food Day, dedicated to addressing global food security, it is perhaps timely to ask what companies in forest-risk supply chains are doing to ensure that the delivery of zero hunger is sustainable — and deforestation-free.
At the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York last month, some of the world’s largest food production companies came together to address the unfolding biodiversity, deforestation and climate crisis.
Nineteen companies signed the One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B) initiative, pledging to protect soil health, diversify the ingredients they use and produce, and eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. …
The 2019 New York Declaration on Forests Progress Assessment has a stark key message: efforts to address the drivers of deforestation have been inadequate to meet global climate and biodiversity targets. Not enough is being done.
This year’s Progress Assessment finds that the global rate of tree cover loss has increased by 43 percent since 2014, when governments, business and civil society came together to urge greater action to end deforestation in the New York Declaration on Forests. Tropical forest loss accounts for more than 90 percent of global deforestation.
Most of this forest is being lost in Latin America — primarily in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru — and also Indonesia where trees are being cleared to make way for agriculture. In Brazil, cattle pasture and soy are the major drivers. Deforestation rates are also increasing in West Africa, where palm oil is expanding. …
Aynur Mammadova and André Vasconcelos
The recent forest fires in the Amazon have focused attention on the Brazilian cattle industry and its global supply chains. Leather is an important export commodity for Brazil, with an average annual turnover of US $ 2 billion, and Italy is the second biggest market for Brazilian leather exports, after China. What are the Italian leather industry’s links to deforestation? And what can leather companies do to ensure they are not contributing to the deforestation in the Amazon?
The most recent satellite data show that deforestation has sharply increased in Brazil, with the current forest fires in the Amazon highlighting the issue. It is also widely recognised that cattle ranching is the main driver of deforestation in the country. While demand for beef occupies headlines as the main culprit commodity, the role of bovine (adult cow) leather consumption is not discussed enough. …
Today, the NGO Amazon Watch has joined forces with Extinction Rebellion and the National Indigenous Association of Brazil to call for a day of global action for the Amazon.
The Amazon fires have provoked worldwide outrage, with much of this directed quite rightly at the Brazilian Government, and in particular the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. He has faced widespread condemnation at home and abroad for his attitude to the fires, with opinion poll ratings tumbling.
Both his rhetoric and his actions on the Amazon, urging deforestation in the name of development and undermining the land rights of indigenous communities, have led to a precipitous rise in forest clearance and the fires that accompany it. …
Guest blog by Patrícia Cota Gomes and Luiz Brasi Filho, Imaflora
On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we invited Patrícia Cota Gomes and Luiz Brasi Filho from Brazilian NGO Imaflora to share their perspectives on the key role that indigenous peoples play in protecting forests and other native ecosystems; and to talk about their award-winning work that helps consumers identify and value sustainable forest products.
There are approximately 305 indigenous ethnic groups in Brazil who speak over 270 languages, as well as hundreds of quilombola and other communities who depend directly on forests and other native ecosystems for their survival. …
The European Union’s long-awaited Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests brings a welcome dose of common sense in a world where satellite data showing evidence of deforestation is being questioned.
The plan sets out five priorities, with reducing the EU’s consumption footprint on land and encouraging the consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains in the EU top of the list, and endorses a partnership approach between producer and consumer countries, business and civil society to deliver them.
Proposed actions include a multi-stakeholder dialogue with member states on deforestation, stronger standards and certification to promote deforestation-free commodities, and an investigation into the need for regulatory measures, including an assessment of the need for companies to carry out due diligence for supply chains in their sustainability strategies, creating a more level playing field. …