Preserve Our Forests

The EU just took a major step to prevent deforestation around the world

Forests

To make room for cattle to graze, large swaths of the Amazon Rainforest is burnt down.

This week the European Union (EU) ratified a policy to regulate deforestation-free products. This policy prohibits the sale of commodities from deforested or degraded forest land in the EU. From now on, to sell beef, wood, palm oil, soya, coffee and cocoa, which are often produced on deforested land, companies must demonstrate that those products didn’t originate on land where tropical and boreal forests were burned or cut down.

This landmark policy in the EU will be felt around the world. Tropical rainforests are more biodiverse than any other terrestrial ecosystem on Earth, but they are being cut down at a rate of 8 million hectares per year—that’s a land area nearly the size of South Carolina. By some calculations, 20% of our planet’s greenhouse gas emissions come from tropical deforestation. Boreal forests encircle the Northern hemisphere of our planet, storing one-third of our planet’s terrestrial carbon.

With the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, this policy couldn’t have come at a better time. Now, it’s time for the rest of the world to pass similar laws. In the US, California and New York have both introduced deforestation-free procurement bills. In April of 2022, Colorado passed an executive order that lays the foundation for a deforestation-free procurement policy. Too much of our planet’s tropical and boreal forests have already been destroyed – it’s time to stand up for our forests.

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