A World Without Trees – EU imports cause tropical deforestation

Close your eyes and imagine what a world without trees would look like.
If you are thinking of humans, think again, because we as a species cannot survive without plant life. There are 3 trillion trees on Earth. 15 billion trees are cut down each year. Hypothetically, at the current rate of deforestation it would take around 200 years for trees to become extinct. National Geographic claims that the world’s rain forests could completely vanish in 100 years if this level of degradation continues.

The root cause of global deforestation is commercial agriculture in terms of forest conversions. Forest conversions involve removing natural forested land to meet other land needs such as plantations, agriculture and pastor for livestock. Europe is the import destination for more than a quarter of these products – beef, palm oil, soy etc. that have been cultivated on exploited tropical land. Despite the EU’s commitment to reducing tropical deforestation by 50 % by 2020, they continue to import goods that are associated with tropical deforestation.

Deforestation for palm oil in Borneo, Southeast Asia

Deforestation for palm oil in Borneo, Southeast Asia

A recent study by the European Commission presents evaluations on what the EU can do regarding imports of commodities linked to deforestation. The study outlines several policy-based options the EU can take, and specifically highlights how legislation and regulation of European imports would have the greatest impact on deforestation.

Moving forward it has come time for the European Commission to propose a binding legislation that ensures that the EU’s agricultural imports do not fuel environmental degradation, and to ensure that if companies fail to guarantee sustainable practices they will be reprimanded.

By Earth Restoration Service Blog Writer Teo Guzu

For more information on the negative effects of deforestation click here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/

To read the Commission’s study click here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/pdf/feasibility_study_deforestation_kh0418199enn_main_report.pdf