World News 30/11/2014

Brazilian Soy Moratorium extended to 2016

The landmark Brazilian Soy Moratorium, set to end in January has been renewed, for the eighth time. The moratorium prevents major traders from selling soy that may be linked to deforestation in the Amazon and will continue through May 2016.

The renewal comes following a lengthy internal debate within the Soya Working Group, responsible for the implementation of the moratorium.

Paulo Adario, Senior Advisor for Greenpeace International welcomed the decision. "The need to extend the Soya Moratorium is crystal clear. There is no other mechanism in place to keep deforestation from the Amazon out of the soy supply chain. The eighteen months ahead are critical for the Brazilian government to advance governance in the Amazon and for the corporate sector to secure a plan to remove deforestation from their supply chains. said Adario

The Soy Moratorium, established in 2006, monitors 73 municipalities responsible for 98% of the soy produced in the Amazon biome. Only 4.6 percent of all the deforestation that occurred in these areas between 2007 and 2013 (470 km2) was planted with soy. This represents less than 1 percent of all deforestation in the Amazon biome since the moratorium was agreed in 2006. The moratorium is widely credited as a major factor in the reduction of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in recent years.

The extension and new expiry date for the moratorium is set to coincide with official deadlines for land registration and compliance with Brazil's new Forest Code, changed amid global controversy in 2012. The law was backed by the country's powerful agribusiness lobby and weakened legislation on forest conservation and land use.

Last year, Brazil announced a 29 percent increase in deforestation, a break in the steady decline in deforestation of years past. Many experts attributed expansion of deforestation in the Amazon in 2013 to the new Forest Code.

"The extension of the moratorium for 18 months gives traders, producers and the Brazilian government enough time to ensure the production of agricultural commodities does not contribute to deforestation." added Adario

Greenpeace will continue to fight for Zero deforestation as it strives to prevent catastrophic climate change - the two major threats to the planet's largest remaining rainforest.

di S. C.