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UK government must strengthen new laws on illegal deforestation

News / 21 Mar 2022

Global Canopy has joined UK environment and human rights organisations in urging the government to ensure that new laws being developed to tackle illegal deforestation are strengthened.

We have signed an open letter to the Secretary of State and Lord Goldsmith warning that unless the biggest drivers of deforestation are included in new laws being introduced under the Environment Act, UK imports could be responsible for an area of rainforest the size of Berlin being lost by 2030.

Government data shows the UK’s global deforestation footprint is primarily caused by land being cleared to make way for cattle ranching, palm oil, soy, cocoa, coffee, rubber and maize. These are known as ‘forest-risk commodities’.

The government consultation on implementing the new regulations proposed introducing due diligence requirements for just two forest-risk commodities in the first two years, taking up to five years to include more than two.

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