Deforestation is 'key concern'

Illegal logging on Pirititi indigenous amazon lands
Flickr
Two-thirds of UK public say government should do more to tackle Amazon destruction.

We need tough new laws to cut deforestation out of supply chains - a world-leading Environment Bill would stop the UK importing habitat destruction so shoppers can be confident in the products they buy.

Sixty seven percent of the UK public believe that the government should be doing more to tackle destruction in the Amazon, according to a UK-wide survey conducted by WWF.  

Additionally, 81 percent of people said there should be greater transparency of the origin of the products we import into the UK and almost three-quarters (73 percent) said the UK should stop trading with countries that fail to protect the natural environment.  

This news comes as more than 20,000 fires were detected in the Amazon in August this year – following an increase in deforestation alerts of 33 percent since last year. 

Tipping point

Deforestation and fires have a devastating impact on people and species that call the Amazon home. It shelters 10 percent of all the wildlife species we know about, as well as three million Indigenous people from 350 Indigenous groups. 

Evidence strongly suggests that we are heading towards a tipping point in large parts of the Amazon which could happen even more quickly with increasing temperatures and continued deforesting. Indeed, some Amazon experts believe this tipping point could be reached with as little as 5 percent further loss of forest. 

WWF’s survey also shows that shoppers are willing to change what they buy to make a difference, with 74 percent saying they are more likely to buy products which aren’t destroying the Amazon and more than half (57 percent) saying they would change their supermarket if a competitor could prove it was doing more to fight deforestation. 

Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF said: “Our precious Amazon rainforest is on fire right now due to rampant deforestation and the UK public are telling us they want urgent action. We need tough new laws to cut deforestation out of supply chains - a world-leading Environment Bill would stop the UK importing habitat destruction so shoppers can be confident in the products they buy.” 

This Article 

Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist. This article is based on a press release from WWF. 

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