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EU agrees to groundbreaking law that stops companies from profiting from deforestation

Source: Pixabay

The European Parliament and negotiators of the EU member states have come to an agreement to fight deforestation driven by EU production and consumption. The EU commission states in a press release: “The new law will ensure that key goods placed on the EU market will no longer contribute to deforestation and forest degradation in the EU and elsewhere in the world.” A big step towards a more sustainable and healthier planet with protected forests and thriving indigenous communities living there.

Law stops EU companies from profiting from deforestation

When the new law will be applied, it will affect companies selling coffee, cocoa, soy, beef, wood, palm oil and rubber. Also companies that sell derived products like leather, chocolate and furniture will have to comply with the new law. The new regulation sets strong mandatory due diligence rules for companies that want to place relevant products on the EU market or export them. Companies will have to prove that their products are legal and deforestation-free. EU member states will check if companies adhere to the law. Not complying with the new rules leads to fines for member states and companies. This way, it will stop companies from profiting from deforestation.

The announcement of the new regulations came on December 6th, a day before the COP-15 summit on biodiversity started. The new law will probably go into force as per January 2023 and companies then have 18-24 months to adhere to the new regulations.

Deforestation is a serious problem

Each minute, 3o football pitches of trees are cut down globally. That counts for 500 trees per second and around 15 billion (!) trees that are cut down every year. That must be cut down, because with the disappearance of forest, the habitat of lots of animals disappears. It becomes difficult for animals to find food and conspecifics. As their habitat disappears, animals increasingly come into contact with people, which creates dangerous situations for both us and the animals. For indigenous peoples, deforestation is also a disaster. They live off the forest and have often been protecting the rainforests for centuries, but are literally being uprooted by forest clearing.

According to Greenpeace EU spokesman John Hyland, the new law is not protecting nature and indigenous people enough. “The EU must broaden its focus to protect nature as a whole, not just forests.” Indigenous people often dedicate their lives to the protection of their local environment. Earlier, BrightVibes wrote an article about As Karuana, a women’s collective that uses music as a form to highlight their struggle to defend nature and biodiversity.

 

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