A hundred NGOs are asking the EU for a law to prevent deforestation that leads to the unsustainable production of food products.

Greenpeace climbers brought the deforestation of the Amazon to the front of the European Commission last Friday.

More than a hundred NGOs, including some Spanish ones, have launched the ‘Don’t eat the forest’ campaign in which they ask the European Union to approve legislation “Firm”, “binding and strict” that helps to stop the importation of food and other products that have been grown in deforested forests and jungles and that are one of the causes of the great fires that occur in these arboreal masses.

In this way, they demand that the European Commission address its responsibility in the face of global deforestation and guarantee that nothing that is consumed in Europe contributes to the destruction of forests, ecosystems or violates the human rights of their populations.

Thus, they urge European citizens to seize the opportunity to save the amazon through a public consultation of the European Commission. Currently, the arson fires that affect the Amazon are mainly aimed at changing land use and giving way to a large-scale industrial agriculture, among other causes, to respond to the demand of the European Union for basic products that are grown on land that occupies what were previously forests.

The campaign has been launched by WWF, Greenpeace, SEO / BirdLife, ClientEarth, Conservation International, Environmental Investigation Agency and Wildlife Conservation Society, which, supported by a hundred organizations, ask the European Commission a law that prevents deforestation to unsustainably produce products such as soy, palm oil, cocoa, coffee or meat.

Thus, they appeal to European citizens to participate in the public consultation carried out by the European Commission to promote a rigorous law that avoid entry into the European market of products related to deforestation, forest fires, destruction of nature and human rights violations.

According to these NGOs, on a global scale the European Union is responsible for more than 10% of deforestation generated to cultivate products such as soybeans, palm oil, meat pastures, coffee or cocoa on lands that were previously forests.

The coordinator of SEO / BirdLife, Ana Carricondo, has denounced that it cannot be tolerated that the consumption by Europeans of basic products is “directly linked to the destruction of the world’s forests”. “We have to ask the EU to ensure that our shopping cart is free of deforestation “, has claimed.

For his part, the conservation director of WWF Spain, Enrique Segovia, has highlighted that the forests and other ecosystems of the world are an “essential protection against climate collapse, pandemics and loss of biodiversity, but EU consumption is undermining this protective work, putting us all in danger”.

“Fortunately, we are in time to save the future of our forests and other ecosystems essential for our survival. We urge the EU to pass a strict law to keep products linked to deforestation and nature destruction out of our markets ”, he concludes.

New legislation

At present, the deforestation is the second largest responsible of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. 80% of this deforestation is due to intensive agriculture that devastates forests to produce products such as soybeans, beef, and palm oil on the ground. These products end up on the European market and in the shopping cart.

The European Commission has pledged to propose new legislation to tackle deforestation in 2021. But to avoid shifting the destruction of forests to other natural habitats of equal importance, NGOs stress that they must also be protected grasslands, savannas and wetlands.

At the same time, they propose that the law also protect rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, who are the recognized stewards of their lands and whose knowledge is “crucial” to prevent biodiversity loss. “Stopping deforestation will not be possible without them,” say the NGOs in the campaign.