In 2006, several companies agreed not to buy soybeans grown on land cleared for agriculture by deforestation in Brazil. But over the next decade, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest fell by only 1.6 percent, leaving only 2,300 square kilometers of protected forest.
This is about the size of Oxfordshire, England. Meanwhile, a new study from a team of international scientists from the University of Cambridge, Boston University, ETH Zurich and New York University points to large swaths of forest being lost to logging during the same period.
Worse, in the tropical savannah known as the Cerrado of Brazil, these zero deforestation commitments have not been effectively adopted, preserving more than half of the soy-friendly forests and their rich biodiversity. researchers say.
The soybean moratorium is the first voluntary commitment to zero deforestation in the tropics, with signatory companies agreeing not to purchase soybeans grown on land obtained by deforestation since 2006. Did. Crops produced by deforestation from supply chains.
But these commitments have not been fully implemented, and many small and medium-sized food companies haven’t committed in the first place, scientists say. Additionally, although the commitment was made in the Brazilian Amazon, most of Brazil’s soybeans are produced in the Cerrado, which is also rich in biodiversity.
soybeans and cows destroy the jungle
As a result, Brazil’s biodiverse forest lands continue to be cleared to raise cattle and grow crops such as soybeans. As the global demand for soybeans increases, about 4,800 square kilometers of rainforest are cleared each year to grow soybeans as animal feed and fodder.
Scientists also note that soybeans account for about 27% of the world’s vegetable oil production and are an important part of many vegetarian and vegan diets.
“Going to zero deforestation is a great first step, but to have an impact on forests it has to be done. Right now, almost the largest companies have the resources to do it.” says Rachel Garrett, a professor of conservation and development. at Cambridge University Conservation Institute.
“If soybean traders really followed through on their global commitments to deforestation-free production, Brazil’s current levels of deforestation could be reduced by about 40%,” Garrett stresses.
The researchers say their findings show that private sector efforts alone are not enough to stop deforestation, and governments must also play an important role in conservation.
“Supply chain governance is critical to enabling zero deforestation monitoring and enforcement and is an alternative to state-led forest policies that are likely to cover a range of crops, land users and geographies. It shouldn’t be,” says Garrett.
By Sustainability Times.English article