Eight European countries sent an open letter on Tuesday urging Brazilian authorities to take "real action" to fight deforestation in the Amazon as raging fires escalates at alarming rates.
European Banks Finance Devastation of Amazon Rainforest-Report
The group called the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership, currently led by Germany, includes Denmark, France; Italy; The Netherlands; Norway; the United Kingdom, and Belgium.
Addressed to Brazil's vice-president Hamilton Mourão, the letter states the concern of European consumers, businesses, investors, and civil society about the ongoing deforestation in Brazil as there is "a legitimate interest that products and food on offer are produced in a fair, environmentally sound and sustainable way."
"While European efforts are aiming at achieving deforestation-free supply chains,
the current trend of rising deforestation in Brazil is making it increasingly difficult for businesses and investors to meet their environmental, social and governance criteria," the letter explains.
"The countries meeting under the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership would expect a renewed and firm political commitment from the Brazilian government to reduce deforestation being reflected in current and real action," the group demanded.
President Jair Bolsonaro's mismanagement of the Amazon fires has negatively influenced Brazil's trade abroad. Hence, several organizations have asked Brazil's government to be uncompromising regarding the measures needed to tackle deforestation.
On September 12, a group of 36 Brazilian companies and four business organizations sent a letter to the National Council for the Legal Amazon, also led by Hamilton Mourão, demanding "strong and effective" action against illegal deforestation. Bolsonaro has reduced the budget of agencies in charge of protecting the rainforest while supporting the agricultural practices that have worsened the disaster.
"This negative view has enormous potential for prejudice to our country, not only from a reputation point of view, but it also hinders business and other fundamental projects," the businessman remarked.
"Mato Grosso | Before and after the fires on the Transpantaneira route, municipality of Poconé. The next image will be won, and from what follows, we may no longer see photos."
Nevertheless, a joint report published last month by the environmental organizations Stand.earth, and Amazon Watch revealed that a group of European banks had financed the devastation of the rainforest, mainly in the area of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region in Ecuador.
According to the report, from 2009 to May 2020, private financial institutions have provided "trade financing for approximately 155 million barrels of oil from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador to refineries in the United States, worth about $10 billion."
On the other hand, the environmental organization Federation of Young Europeans Greens (FYEG) denounced in a statement that the Amazon is burning with the compliance of the European Union as it considers the destruction of the rainforest, not an accident but "the collateral damage of a broken economic and agricultural system, still promoted by the EU."
"The EU industrial livestock production relies heavily on imports of oilseeds (including soy) to feed animals as 74 percent of oilseeds used for animal feed in the EU are imported, mostly from the USA and Brasil. Imports of our the agro-industry are directly responsible for the situation in the Amazon," the FYEG explained.