In the document “In Growth? The Continuing Impact of European Union Consumption on Nature Worldwide, Portugal is said to be the sixth country with the highest per capita consumption associated with deforestation in the tropics.
The document is the responsibility of the international environmental protection organization “World Wide Fund for Nature” (WWF) and its Portuguese partner Associação Natureza Portugal (ANP).
In a statement regarding the report, ANP / WWF warned that consumption in European Union countries “devours” forests in the tropics, with the European Union being one of the largest importers of tropical deforestation and associated CO2 emissions, when consuming products such as soybeans, palm oil and meat. Cow as well as cocoa and coffee.
The report estimates that between 2005 and 2017 the European Union was responsible, with this consumption, for 16% of deforestation associated with international trade, with a total of 203,000 hectares and 116 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
It is mentioned in the document that the European Union, in deforestation from third countries for what it consumes, lags behind China (24%), but is ahead of India (9%), the USA (7%) and Japan (5). %).
In Europe, the larger economies (Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and Poland) were responsible for 80% of the associated deforestation through the consumption of goods resulting from deforestation.
“The demand for these commodities is also causing the destruction of non-forest ecosystems such as meadows and wetlands,” she added in the statement, noting that the report proves a clear link between the production of soybeans, beef and livestock, and the transformation of meadows.
“This report provides essential information for taking coordinated and urgent action to defend current forests and biodiversity. We learned that consumption in European Union countries has a major impact on deforestation in the tropics and on habitat conversion, but we did not know with the scientific rigor being presented to us now yet. That the European Union only bypassed China, consuming more tropical forests and devastating ecosystems other than India, the US and Japan. The way we eat in Portugal and Europe is literally eating up the world’s forests and other ecosystems as well, ”said the statement, Director of ANP / Conservation WWF, Katarina Grillo.
The federations state that the European Commission is preparing to introduce new legislation to combat deforestation, and they consider an urgent legal framework addressing the consumption footprint of the European Union in forests and other ecosystems (such as meadows and wetlands) on the planet.
Last year, nearly 1.2 million people participated in the European Union’s public consultation on deforestation (the # Together 4 Forests campaign), demanding laws that combat Europe’s footprint in forests and other ecosystems in third countries.
“It is imperative that this law ensure that products and goods that contribute to deforestation and / or conversion do not enter the European market,” she defends environmental organizations.
Also read: Deforestation alerts in the Brazilian Amazon broke a record in March
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