Target: Robert Hoff, Minister-Counselor of Foreign Agricultural Affairs
Goal: Reduce fossil fuel-based emissions by ending illegal tropical deforestation
The continued overseas demand for agricultural commodities like palm oil, beef, soy and wood products has contributed to the rapid deforestation of tropical climates. A comprehensive analysis, published by “Forest Trends,” reveals that nearly half of all recent tropical deforestation is the result of illegal clearing for commercial agriculture. In addition to the devastating impacts deforestation has on forest-dependent people and biodiversity, it also contributes to the harmful increase in fossil fuel-based emissions—nearly 1.47 gigatonnes to be exact.
Increased agricultural production is a necessary evil, though, in terms of food security and meeting the demands of an emerging global middle class. However, companies should be taking better steps toward producing commodities legally and sustainably. Nearly 90 percent of tropical deforestation in Brazil was illegal, due in part to poor conservation laws. In Indonesia, nearly 80 percent of deforestation was illegal and performed by companies that promised sustainable practices and fair-trade acts.
While other countries are also experiencing a sharp decline in healthy tropical forest area, illegal deforestation is rampant in Brazil and Indonesia, which also happen to be the two countries that are highly sought after in the production of agricultural commodities destined for global markets. Many of those commodities end up in cosmetics, household goods, animal feed, and even packaging.
Nearly 200,000 square kilometers of tropical forest (the equivalent of five football fields) is being lost every minute due to illegal deforestation. Sign the petition to urge Robert Hoff, Minister-Counselor of Foreign Agricultural Affairs, to stop this now.
Dear Robert Hoff,
Illegal deforestation has devastated wildlife populations, severely depleted resources and has forced forest-dependent peoples out of their communities. The practice has also added exponentially to the already growing problem of emissions. Nearly 1.47 gigatonnes, or 25 percent, of fossil fuel-based emissions is a direct result of illegal deforestation, making it the sixth-largest contributor to climate change in the world.
Companies should be taking better steps to produce commodities legally and sustainably. By working around contracts and hoodwinking unsuspecting foreign authorities, we have created barren landscapes that will take decades to recover. I urge you to put a stop to illegal deforestation and enforce stricter regulations to protect our precious rain forests.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: DodgertonSkillhause via morguefile