FOE Statement on Announcement of Federal Deforestation Bill
WASHINGTON — Senator Brian Schatz of Hawai’i announced today the pending introduction of a federal bill to ban US imports of products linked to illegal deforestation and land conversion. Friends of the Earth and dozens of other advocacy organizations have simultaneously called on Congress and the Biden-Harris administration to enact policy measures to support the health and well-being of the world’s forests and the people who depend on them.
Friends of the Earth has supported efforts to develop this legislation for several years, co-sponsoring Senator Schatz’ 2018 Senate briefing on tropical deforestation and working with the Senator to urge private financial firms to address deforestation risk.
In response to the announcement, Jeff Conant, Senior International Forests Program Manager at Friends of the Earth U.S., issued the following statement:
Friends of the Earth is proud to work with Senator Schatz to use federal regulatory power to stem the tide of global deforestation. The global deforestation crisis is intricately connected to some of the most pressing problems we face. We will do what it takes to turn this crucial bill into law.
The degradation and destruction of forests is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and biodiversity loss and increases human exposure to zoonotic diseases such as coronavirus and Ebola. It is both a cause of and enabling factor in land invasions and violence against Indigenous peoples, local communities, and environmental defenders.