Home Commodities US must urgently implement FOREST Act to halt import of deforestation commodities

US must urgently implement FOREST Act to halt import of deforestation commodities


Global Witness has endorsed the FOREST Act, which aims to prevent
the import of commodities that cause deforestation from entering the US market.

If introduced, the Act would represent a significant step
forward to help the US to reach its goals to end global deforestation and move
towards forest restoration by 2030.

The law follows in the footsteps of the EU Deforestation
Regulation and the UK Environment Act by issuing supply chain traceability
requirements that supports transparency and ensures accountability that
products are deforestation-free.

It also defines a program for channelling US resources
towards areas with high rates of deforestation.

While we urge this process to be done in close coordination
with the export countries – and particularly with Indigenous
and other local communities that live in or near the affected landscapes’ boundaries
– we applaud the FOREST Act’s intent for a holistic approach that supports the
transition away from deforestation while also cleaning up products for US consumers.

We urge the passage of the FOREST Act of
2023 before the end of the year.

Thomson, Senior US Policy Advisor at Global Witness, said:

FOREST Act is a step forward for the US’s fight against global deforestation. It
would prevent goods linked to illegal deforestation from lining US supermarket
shelves and put the US on par with other global markets who’ve recently passed
deforestation regulations.

deforestation doesn’t occur in a vacuum, and is often part of a larger, harmful
process of agricultural expansion into protected areas, sometimes on land
already inhabited by communities. When deforestation happens in these areas, it
becomes a human rights issue as well as an environmental problem.

Act is a chance for the US to end our role in importing injustice and
implicitly enabling exploitation. We urge Congress to urgently pass the FOREST
Act and move towards supply chains that are more just and create a mutual
benefit for everyone while conserving the worlds’ forests.” 

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