FunNature & AnimalThe European Commission wants to ban imports of deforestation...

The European Commission wants to ban imports of deforestation products

During the celebration of COP26 , more than 100 countries (which are home to 85 percent of the world’s forests), pledged to halt deforestation by 2030 . But, as experts argue, the preservation and protection of forests is not just a matter for Brazil or Canada, which are home to some of the largest forests.

Deforestation depends, to a large extent, on imports from the richest countries . For example, the piece of chocolate that we eat for a snack, the beef steak at noon or the coffee that we drink in the morning, tend to contribute a great deal to this deforestation.

In fact, we must remember that, already in 2018, WWF calculated in France that each citizen causes the disappearance of 352 square meters of forest on the other side of the world, mainly through deforestation as a consequence of agriculture.

As WWF pointed out at the time, this would mean that, in 50 years, we will potentially have deforested an area equivalent to the area of mainland France. Not surprisingly, in total, the European Union is responsible for 16 percent of deforestation linked to world trade , being the second behind China, but ahead of the United States or India.

Something, it is true, not very glorious when you want to be an example in environmental matters for the rest of the world.

In the middle of last November, the European Commission presented a draft regulation that promised something basic: stop finding, in the European market, a product that has contributed directly or indirectly to deforestation.

According to Brussels, the project would lead to a reduction of at least 31.9 million tons of carbon emissions per year .

In this sense, we must bear in mind that the project refers mainly to wood, beef, palm oil, coffee, soybeans and cocoa. All must be guaranteed “zero deforestation” through an adequate traceability system.

As stated by Pascal Canfin, president of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, and one of the architects of the text, “if a ton of palm oil arrives from Indonesia, or a ton of soybeans from Brazil to a European port and The buyer cannot prove that he is not from a recently non-forested area, so he cannot enter the European market ”. And “the same would happen with products made with these staple foods, such as spreads or frozen meat dishes.”

But how could such information be accessed? The procedures will be facilitated by a database made available to the States, thanks to the constellation of Copernicus satellites , capable of verifying the location of a plantation a few meters away, and of finding what was there before.

In this way, it would be possible to carry out sanctions, if necessary, in case of non-compliance with the regulations. And exporting countries will also be rated according to their deforestation risk , which would aim to encourage them to implement good practices.

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