Some 10 million square kilometers of forest areas are threatened by deforestation or forest degradation due to imports of European raw materials. This is indicated by the Zero Deforestation Alliance. Europe approved a regulation that vetoes the import of certain raw materials (soybeans, rubber, wood, cocoa, coffee and beef...) from areas suspected of suffering deforestation. But many experts see it as insufficient. Now, 60 international entities are asking that protection be expanded to other regions such as Pantanal (Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay) and El Cerrado (Brazilian savanna), "where around 70% of the destruction related to European consumption is concentrated," in data obtained by the Alliance.
The European regulation came into force in June this year with the aim of ensuring that products consumed by EU citizens do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation.
The new petition demands that new areas - representing 25% of the world's forest areas - be included in the regulation, in a revision of the legislation.
"The European Union can prevent consumption from causing the destruction of biologically very valuable nature, but it needs to look beyond the Amazon rainforest," declares this environmental organization.
The value of these areas is related to their biodiversity, but is also notable for their contribution to climate change mitigation and their ability to retain carbon. For this reason, they argue that "its destruction would harm biodiversity but also the capacity for mitigation and adaptation against the climate emergency."
In the case of Spain, in 2020, 2.6 million tons of soybeans for feed were imported from Brazil, of which 42% came exclusively from the Cerrado region, according to the organization's data.
While Brazil managed to reduce rising deforestation rates in the Amazon rainforest during the first half of this year, the Cerrado savanna has experienced a wave of environmental destruction during the same period (the highest deforestation figure since 2018), according to data of satellite monitoring in Brazil, Alianza specifies.
The report by environmental organizations specifies that the inclusion of "other forested lands" to the European regulation will protect, in South America alone, 59.7 million additional hectares of cover in the Cerrado, 8.7 million additional hectares of cover in the Chaco and an additional 2.2 million hectares of coverage in the Pantanal.
On the other hand, "it is very likely that expanding the scope of this regulation will have the same effect in other regions of Africa and Asia," the organization postulates.
“Ensuring that this law covers all valuable ecosystems is essential as the climate emergency intensifies. Including more unknown natural spaces such as the Brazilian Cerrado, but equally valuable, along with the Amazon rainforest, will help protect not only an immense variety of plants and animals, including the jaguar, but also an important supplier of water for the entire American continent. , concludes the Alliance.