Despite all the protests, the tropical rainforests are still being destroyed. Minister of Development Müller wants to hold German companies to account on this point.
Development Cooperation Minister Gerd Müller has warned of the increasing destruction of rainforests and called for deforestation-free supply chains. “Our planet’s lungs are in danger. More fires have been counted in the Amazon rainforest than ever before. This year could be the most destructive year for the sensitive ecosystem,” the CSU politician criticized Monday on Tropical Forest Day. Müller had announced the day before that he would no longer run after his current term of office, but that he would continue his term of office until the coming year.
The Greens called for a tougher approach. “The Amazon rainforest destroys part of our livelihoods every day. We share responsibility for this in Europe,” warned Jamila Schäfer, Deputy Federal Chair. “Products related to human rights violations or deforestation in the Amazon have no place in the European market. Therefore we need an import ban on products from liberated Amazon regions.”
The loss of the original rainforest is particularly dramatic
The destruction of rainforests by slash and burn in the Amazon, Congo Basin and Indonesia accounts for 11 percent of global CO2 emissions, he says. According to the Ministry of Development, an estimated 420 million hectares of forest have been lost since 1990 – almost the entire surface of the EU. The loss of the original rainforest is particularly dramatic. Last year, Brazil was the country with the greatest loss of primary forest in the world. In general, however, forest loss is highest in Africa.
“We must finally stop forest destruction. To do this, we also need to establish deforestation-free supply chains,” said Müller. About 80 percent of deforestation in the tropics is due to agriculture – mainly for livestock, palm oil and soy. To create the plantations as cheaply as possible, the rainforests in Brazil and Indonesia are burning.
“Always cheap, cheap, cheap”
According to Müller, palm oil is now in every second supermarket product, such as margarine, pizza or shampoo. “Always cheap, cheap, cheap – that ultimately comes at the expense of nature and people. I am therefore in favor of clear certification: if you want to import soy, you have to prove that it has not been grown in cleared forest areas. That relieves the rainforests and protects our climate. “
Greenpeace forest expert Gesche Jürgens demanded that the Amazon rainforest can only be protected with environmentally friendly supply chains. From livestock to raw materials industry, a number of sectors are involved in the destruction of the rainforest – European and German companies are also involved. “The federal government needs to change that with new rules that prevent companies from taking advantage of the destruction of unique ecosystems,” Juergens warned.