The production of agricultural commodities is the main driver of deforestation around the world. While COVID–19 has brought much in the world to a standstill, the pandemic has served to accelerate commodity-driven deforestation. The problem is particularly severe in Brazil where a weakening of law enforcement and continued international demand for agricultural commodities, led by China, the EU, and the United States, are driving the rapid destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
Speakers will give short presentations followed by Q&A. Paula Bernasconi from Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV) will talk about the skyrocketing deforestation from soy and beef production in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. André Vasconcelos of Global Canopy will introduce a deforestation risk assessment tool and explore links between deforestation and trade with the EU and China. Rick Jacobsen of Environmental Investigation Agency will discuss U.S. imports of agricultural products associated with deforestation and provide an overview of policy and regulatory responses in consumer markets. Kevin Stockert from U.S. Representative Blumenauer’s office will discuss legislative measures Congress is developing to address the role of trade in driving deforestation. Giuliana Torta (EU Delegation to the U.S.) will provide updates on processes underway in the EU to establish new policies and regulation to reduce the bloc’s deforestation footprint.