International companies such as McDonald’s are happy, and companies like Nike, Wal-Mart and Carrefour are asking for more.
The soya traders first agreed to the moratorium in 2006. The moratorium was originally the result of a major Greenpeace effort (see “Eating up the Amazon” and “Amazon Bulletin”), so you can be sure they are happy that the moratorium is being renewed. As Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon Campaign director, says: “This is the sort of industry initiative we need to stop the destruction of the Amazon and help to prevent runaway climate change. It was only possible because companies worldwide demanded it, knowing that their customers would not want to buy products linked to Amazon rainforest destruction.”
Even the president fo McDonald’s Europe was happy. As he said, “We want to ensure that our actions help protect the Amazon rainforest. The moratorium has been a positive step in helping us control and monitor the soya used in our supply chain and we will continue to participate in efforts to stop deforestation in the Amazon.”
Paulo Adario says, “Now all eyes are on President Lula to demonstrate his government’s leadership by increasing efforts to govern the Amazon and to stop deforestation across all sectors.” Brazil’s Environment Minister, Carlos Minc, says: “Soya is no longer a significant force in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. However, we cannot say the same about cattle. The soya moratorium is a model for all relevant sectors.”
To move forward with efforts to protect the Amazon, Greenpeace is now showing the way in which beef, leather and shoe companies are destroying the Amazon. They released a report in June 2009 called “Slaughtering the Amazon” that details the results of these industries
As Greenpeace writes, Amazon deforestation is one of the leading contributors to global warming in the world. If climate change is to be addressed, Brazil and companies dependent on Brazil really need to respond. “Tropical deforestation accounts for up to a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions, more than all the world’s airplanes, trains and cars. It has led Brazil to become the world’s fourth worst climate polluter and means that runaway climate change cannot be averted unless deforestation is stopped.”
In a similar manner as Yvo De Boer, head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), proposed last week, Greenpeace says that wealthy, developed countries need to help Brazil to get out of a dependency on Amazon-destroying practices: “President Lula must commit to stopping Amazon deforestation by 2015 and developed countries must provide the financial backing his government needs to effectively monitor and govern the rainforest. In addition, funds are required for the millions of people who depend on the forest to develop new conservation minded industries that do not involve cutting the rainforest down.”
One step forward, a few more to take, and the Amazon could be protected to prosper and help the world again.
Image credit 1: *Brunna Peretti* via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image credit 2: leoffreitas via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image credit 3: Matthew Burpee via flickr under a Creative Commons license