Mark Hillsdon reports on how the Consumer Goods Forum is trying to replicate the success of the Amazon soy moratorium, halting deforestation by making more productive use of already degraded land
In recent years the Cerrado has replaced the Amazon as the key battleground in the war against deforestation in Brazil. Ironically, the fate of the Cerrado was sealed by efforts to end deforestation in the Amazon, which proved so successful that agri-business was forced to look elsewhere. Its gaze fell on the Cerrado.
Recognised as the most biodiverse savannah in the world, as well as a vital store of CO2, latest figures suggest that 44% of the Cerrado is now under the plough, with soy accounting for 90% of cultivated crops.
The manifesto is a recognition by companies that they have an important role to play in protecting the Cerrado
Now similar efforts that slowed clearances in the Amazon are being applied to the Cerrado. In September 2017, 60 civil society organisations issued the Cerrado Manifesto, calling on the private sector to take immediate action to protect the region, which covers just over a fifth of Brazil. Over 60 companies, including Carrefour, Colgate-Palmolive Company, L’Oréal and McDonald’s Corporation, have signed a statement of support for the manifesto.
The manifesto lacks the clout of the soy moratorium, which banned direct conversion of Amazon rainforest to soy from 2006 onward,...