The EU just passed a historic anti-deforestation law. Now it needs to go after the banks

globalwitness.org

Governments from across the European Union today adopted a historic new law which will ensure that a raft of commodities linked to deforestation and forest degradation won’t be able to enter the EU market unless proven to be sustainably sourced. 

The green light from EU national governments means that by end of next year, imports of palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber will have to comply with strict traceability obligations and evidence must show that they have not been grown on deforested or degraded land.

It’s the first law of its kind in the world, and a historic blueprint for the approaches that other markets should look at to help preserve the world’s forests – which are essential in the fight against climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.

Now the first milestone towards deforestation-free supply chains has been achieved, it’s time to ensure that the European Union can fully end its role in forest destruction – which means cutting the money pipeline to deforesting businesses.  This is the final piece of the puzzle.

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Where Did the Phrase “Tree-Hugger” Come From?

earthisland.org

Indian Roots of the Term Speak of a History of Non-Violent Resistance

The first tree huggers were 294 men and 69 women belonging to the Bishnois branch of Hinduism, who, in 1730, died while trying to protect the trees in their village from being turned into the raw material for building a palace. They literally clung to the trees, while being slaughtered by the foresters. But their action led to a royal decree prohibiting the cutting of trees in any Bishnoi village.

Photo courtesy Waging NonviolenceThe Chipko movement (which means “to cling”) started in the 1970s when a group of peasant women in Northern India threw their arms around trees designated to be cut down.

Show the slightest bit of concern for the environment and you get labeled a tree hugger. That’s what poor Newt Gingrich has been dealing with recently, as the other presidential candidates attack his conservative credentials for having once appeared in an ad with Nancy Pelosi in support of renewable energy. Never mind that he has since called the ad the “biggest mistake” of his political career and talked about making Sarah Palin energy secretary. Gingrich will be haunted by the tree hugger label the rest of his life. He might as well grow his hair out, stop showering and start walking around barefoot.

But is that what a tree hugger really is? Just some dazed hippie who goes around giving hugs to trees as way to connect with nature. You might be shocked to learn the real origin of the term.

The first tree huggers were 294 men and 69 women belonging to the Bishnois branch of Hinduism, who, in 1730, died while trying to protect the trees in their village from being turned into the raw material for building a palace. They literally clung to the trees, while being slaughtered by the foresters. But their action led to a royal decree prohibiting the cutting of trees in any Bishnoi village. And now those villages are virtual wooded oases amidst an otherwise desert landscape. Not only that, the Bishnois inspired the Chipko movement (chipko means “to cling” in Hindi) that started in the 1970s, when a group of peasant women in the Himalayan hills of northern India threw their arms around trees designated to be cut down. Within a few years, this tactic, also known as tree satyagraha, had spread across India, ultimately forcing reforms in forestry and a moratorium on tree felling in Himalayan regions.

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How can illegal timber trade in the Greater Mekong be stopped?

by Sheryl Lee Tian Tong on 30 December 2021

Mongabay.com

  • Over the past decade, the European Union has been entering into voluntary partnership agreements (VPAs) with tropical timber-producing countries to fight forest crime.
  • These bilateral trade agreements legally bind both sides to trade only in verified legal timber products.
  • There is evidence VPAs help countries decrease illegal logging rates, especially illegal industrial timber destined for export markets.
  • Within the Greater Mekong region, only Vietnam has signed a VPA.

Over the past decade, the European Union entered into collaborative agreements with tropical timber-producing countries to fight forest crime and verify the legality of wood imported into the EU.

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Why has illegal logging increased in the Greater Mekong?

news.mongabay.com

by Sheryl Lee Tian Tong on 9 December 2021

  • In recent decades, rich tropical forests of the Greater Mekong region have been steadily depleted by the world’s growing appetite for timber.
  • Recognizing the impact of the timber trade on natural forests, governments in the Greater Mekong region have come up with laws to regulate logging and timber exports.
  • However, insufficient political will and collusion between officials, businesspeople and criminal groups means enforcement is often limited.
  • There is a clear need to strengthen local laws and enforcement, but pressure from foreign governments, businesses and consumers can help.

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Corruption fueling deforestation in Cambodia: poachers and corrupt officials profit from the black market trade, being exported to Vietnam — and beyond.

>> Bài liên quan: Quan chức tham nhũng Việt Nam kiếm tiền từ gỗ buôn lậu ở Campuchia

DW

Cambodia’s forests are being felled at a shocking rate, as poachers and corrupt officials profit from the black market trade in rare wood species, which is being exported to Vietnam — and beyond.

Two tractors transporting timber in Aoral Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia
 (Pascal Laureyn )

The Aoral Wildlife Sanctuary in Kampong Speu province is just a three-hour drive from Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. But the scenery here couldn’t be more different than in the sprawling metropolis — even a military outpost in the reserve is peaceful and picturesque. A traditional stilt house has hammocks, chickens and ice-cold beer. Outside, a few soldiers are playing pétanque as a black pig snuffles the earth.

But behind this idyllic scene in the Cardamom Mountains, a billion-dollar black market is thriving. Tiếp tục đọc “Corruption fueling deforestation in Cambodia: poachers and corrupt officials profit from the black market trade, being exported to Vietnam — and beyond.”

Six Asian countries take steps to regulate imports of illegal timber products