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 Full text 
Wednesday, 21 October 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Deforestation (debate)

  Jytte Guteland, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, there is no doubt that global deforestation is an enormous problem, and we need to take good care of the world’s forests. They are the lungs of this earth.

There is an ongoing and very worrisome trend, with the loss of global tree cover and the destruction of forest in many third countries outside of Europe. This has dramatic consequences for our climate and our ecosystems. It also has grave social impacts. Almost one in every four people in the world today depend on forests for their daily livelihood and income. Indigenous people around the world – for example, in the Amazon – are heavily dependent on forests, and deforestation threatens their livelihood.

There are also completely flagrant and abhorrent human rights violations due to conflicts linked to the situation. In the Amazon region alone, we have seen how more than 300 people have been killed in resource and land use conflicts in the last decade. This is really awful and can never be accepted.

Although this deforestation takes place in other parts of the world, we see here in Europe that we have a responsibility to act. Our own consumption is a big part of the problem; it contributes to at least 10 % of global deforestation. Therefore, we must look at ways to better ensure that we halt global deforestation, including through our own consumption. As a consumer, I want to know that my consumption doesn’t have negative effects on the environment or on people who live in other countries. Commodities used in EU should not lead to deforestation and human rights abuses in the countries where the products have been produced. All of us agree on that, and now it’s time to act.

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