It is encouraging that the G7 is discussing the urgent situation in the Amazon. President Macron has advocated stopping industrial deforestation and finding new forms of forest governance where NGOs and indigenous peoples are more involved. The question is how G7 countries best could achieve this.
- The best way for G7 countries to help solve this crisis is to immediately state that they will not buy products from Brazil with high deforestation risk as long as deforestation and the fires continue, says Oyvind Eggen, director of Rainforest Foundation Norway.
EU Council president Donald Tusk says it’s hard to imagine ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement as long as “the Brazilian government allows for the destruction of the green lungs of planet earth”. We believe the ratification process should be halted until specific conditions are met. These conditions should solve the current Amazon crisis of fires, increased deforestation and continuous attacks on environmental legislation, NGOs and indigenous peoples. Using the Mercosur agreement as leverage has previously helped keep Brazil in the Paris Agreement, and this strategy should be replicated.
- European countries should halt ratification of trade agreements until Brazil has reduced deforestation in the Amazon and stopped the fires. Brazil should also guarantee the security and rights of environmental defenders and indigenous peoples and commit to continued use of the Amazon Fund as a strong tool to combat deforestation in line with its original mandate and transparent governance, says Eggen.
Brazilian environmental NGOs and indigenous peoples’ organizations (including Articulation of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples, WWF–Brazil, Amazon Watch, Greenpeace Brasil, Amazon Protection) have also come together with a joint call to the G7. They call for:
1) a mechanism to avoid imports of commodities from Brazil with high risk of deforestation,
2) policies to prevent investments in the Amazon that involve high risk of human rights and environmental violations, and
3) support to government and civil society efforts to preserve the Amazon, if current national policies improve.
Read this post to learn more about the Amazon rainforest and how you can help.
This media release was submitted by Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN), one of the world’s leading organizations in the field of rights-based rainforest protection with 30 years of experience from Brazil. Learn more here.
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Feature image of French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.