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Deforestation in the Amazon

Published Thursday, October 3, 2019

MPs will debate e-petition 266638 relating to deforestation in the Amazon on 7 October in Westminster Hall. This House of Commons Library debate pack provides some background information and press and parliamentary coverage of the issue.

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A debate is scheduled for Monday 7 October at 4.30pm in Westminster Hall on a motion “That this House has considered e-petition 266638 relating to deforestation in the Amazon.”

Daniel Zeichner MP will open the debate.

Summary

E-petition 266638 on deforestation in the Amazon rainforest received 122,407 signatures as at 3 October 2019.

The Amazon rainforest is a key global resource for biodiversity and carbon sequestration as well as being home to a number of indigenous tribes dependent on its services.

Concerns have been raised about deforestation in the Amazon for some years. Concerns focus on the environmental impacts of loss of forest cover on species diversity and the ability of the rainforest to act as a carbon sink, and on the socio-economic impacts on indigenous tribes.

The UK Government has said that it shares concerns about deforestation in the Amazon. It notes that the UK has been addressing deforestation in partnership with Brazil for a long time, for example investing nearly £120 million in International Climate Finance programmes. These aim to help to tackle deforestation, and support Brazil’s rural communities, farmers and businesses to produce food and adopt sustainable agricultural practices that “prevent forest fires, protect natural habitats and improve livelihoods”.

However, campaigners consider that current Brazilian government policies on development of the Amazon region are accelerating forest loss. An increase in forest fires in the region this summer has been highlighted as evidence of negative impacts of President Bolsonaro’s Government’s support for development in the region. However, the Brazilian Government has said that fires occur for natural as well as human reasons and the levels of fires observed in 2019 are only slightly above the average of the last 20 years. In response to the recent forest fires, the UK Prime Minister pledged a further £10 million at the G7 summit on 25 August 2019.

This e-petition asks the Government to request that the EU and UN impose sanctions on Brazil. The Government has said that it wants to help Brazil with the fires, but also that it wants to trade with it, because that is a way of building its economy and ensuring that the “sorts of fires that are currently raging are put out and stay out”.

 

Commons Debate packs CDP-2019-0220

Authors: Sarah Coe; Timothy Robinson; Alex Adcock; Antonia Garraway; John Curtis; Dominic Webb

Topics: Biodiversity, Climate change, Environmental protection, Latin America

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