(4/6) How to act against deforestation

After initiating in 2018 a Beekeeping Pilot, Naturevolution start a reforestation project near the villages of Makay: village forests. But we could start this project without you explain this autumn how it fits in both a specific local context and in a worrying global context. Through 6 items we take stock of the current state of deforestation, commitments and actions initiated by the different governments, reforestation initiatives in terms especially in Madagascar and finally the possible actions to your scale to fight against deforestation . An entire program !

Introduction

Much of deforestation in the world results from the consumption of urban populations (Consuming or similarly) and the increase in their standard of living in a globalized economy where free trade agreements are proliferating. As Europeans, we are among the first affected.

A higher standard of living often results in increased consumption meat products containing palm oil, chocolate, gasoline and tires for the car, etc. Many of these products are associated with deforestation.

Deforestation caused by our consumption is said to be 'imported' because it is caused in other countries of the world : Places where deforestation is encouraged by the local government, is not opposed for lack of resources or political will. Unfortunately, these are country-there - such as Brazil, Indonesia and the DRC - which now contain the last great tropical forests of our planet.

Si vous lisez cet article, il y a fort à parier que vous appartenez à cette part de la population mondiale qui est suffisamment favorisée (même si vous n’en avez pas l’impression !) pour avoir un impact sur des forêts à l’autre bout du monde. La bonne nouvelle ? Notre pouvoir en tant qu’européens pour peser sur la déforestation n’en est que d’autant plus fort ! Tour d’horizon.

Forêt du Makay, Madagascar

Forêt du Makay, Madagascar

Drastically reduce its consumption of animal protein

L’élevage bovin et la culture du soja qui est exporté comme aliment du bétail dans de nombreux pays du monde sont la première cause de la déforestation en Amérique du Sud. According to Greenpeace, the cattle would be responsible for the destruction of nearly 63% of the Amazon rainforestAnd the situation is worse now in adjacent natural areas. Much of this deforestation is attributable to Europeans who are 2nd World soybean importer. The beef and lamb in particular have a completely disproportionate environmental footprint and it is better to abandon completely, but European poultry are also largely fed on imported soybeans.

Not convinced ? Read the full report from Greenpeace:
Meat bitten - Europe fueling the climate crisis by his addiction to soy.

Another meta-study published in 2018 and on 119 countries, 40,000 farms and 90% of everything that is eaten worldwide, provides figures on the impact of meat: worldwide, 83% of agricultural land is used for the production of meat and dairy products (83%!), All that to produce only 37% protein and 18% of calories ... while generating 60% of emissions of greenhouse gases in the agricultural sector!

The impacts considered by the study range from land use (deforestation, pesticides, loss of biodiversity and natural habitats, etc.) emissions responsible for climate change, through the consumption of water and pollution ( water, air). It could not be exhaustive.

The study also points out that the 'meat manager' is not an alternative " meat and more sustainable 'dairy products (smaller impact) have a much greater impact than plants and less sustainable cereal. "A conclusion that joined the findings of the Greenpeace report above.

Meat, driver of deforestation

It is worth noting some adverse effects of world trade : European meat, for example, largely fed with soya imported, exported itself. France, where red meat consumption decreases for more than 20 years, has obtained China the lifting of an embargo of 17 years on the import of beef: the French government hopes to export several thousand tons of beef French to China, while the free trade agreement with Mercosur plans to increase the import of beef from South America! Which brings us to the next point: l’action du gouvernement et les moyens pour les individus de peser dessus.

Influence public decisions

Via les élection : voter, et pas pour n’importe qui :)
It laments in France of government inaction on environmental and climate issues. But voters continue to bring to power candidates and political parties that do little in climate-term defense and biodiversity. Emmanuel Macron and LRM carry a liberal agenda that aims to sign more free trade agreements (Lately CETA with Canada and the agreement with Mercosur), and therefore increase global trade instead of promoting local. Their commitments in terms of climate and biodiversity are not at all the stakes in progress.

Même suite à la démission fracassante de Nicolas Hulot, les élections européennes ont continué de favoriser LRM et le Rassemblement National (ex-FN). Le score de EELV, bien qu’acclamé, n’a été qu’autour de 17% et les autres partis politiques (PS, LFI etc.) qui ont un programme solide sur l’environnement ont fait encore moins. Alors n’oubliez pas que les élections sont un des moyens à disposition de faire changer les choses, et que l’environnement est le sujet le plus important du 21ème siècle.

Via la justice
Tired of waiting for the realization of political commitments on environment, citizens' groups took the case to court in several countries: the Netherlands (! successfully), Colombia, South Africa, etc. In France, four NGOs (the case of the century, the FNH, Greenpeace and Oxfam) decided to attack the French state to trial to meet its climate change commitments and protect our lives, our lands and our rights: add your signature to the deal of the century.

recognition the crime of Ecocide - A global movement (especially European) defends the legal recognition of the concept ofecocide, ou de crime contre l’environnement, ce qui offrirait bien plus de moyens juridiques d’assigner états et entreprises privées en justice pour les dégâts causés à l’environnement. En savoir plus par ici : le site End Ecocide on Earth et l’entrée Écocide sur Wikipédia.

Via l’activisme
Les grandes avancées en matière d’environnement ou de droits sociaux ont été obtenus par de petits groupes d’individus motivés qui ont su rassembler et faire pression sur le politique et les groupes privés, via différentes méthodes, notamment médiatiques. Rentrer dans le détail n’est pas le but de cet article, mais il n’en reste pas moins que Activism is one of the most effective ways to achieve significant progress. There are local groups across France and Europe, focused on various environmental causes. There may be mentioned les groupes locaux des Friends of the Earth and the young but promising movement Extinction Rebellion. There are many others: you dig the subject!

Supporting a project with a real impact

Vote with his wallet with his ballot and reducing consumption are powerful actions as Europeans we can do every day. But it will not be enough and that's not all! There are many NGOs who develop excellent projects to preserve existing forests, reforestation to reduce all the pressure on them, and develop conservation projects, all the benefit both biodiversity and local communities.

After installing projects around economic activity (apiculture, ecotourism) And social (education, school gardens) Naturevolution launches in 2019 le projet de reboisement « Forêts Villageoises » around the villages of Makay as to reduce pressure on forests of the massif, as providing resources to communities. So, make a donation to help us! preferably monthly ;-)

Nursery Tsiajorambo Northern Makay © Tom Dépériers / Naturevolution

Chocolate and palm oil

Yes, chocolate! World demand for cocoa term is increasingly a driver of deforestation. If deforestation is in total area, the largest in Brazil, it is the cocoa that is causing stronger acceleration of deforestation in 2017 and 2018. They are held up in national parks West Africa ! Read about the excellent report by French NGO Mighty Earth The bitter chocolate deforestation.

France Nature Environnement partnered with Mighty Earth to produce a ranking of the best known brands. You can also sign a petition more the most effective is to act on the request.

Palm oil is itself responsible for nearly 20% of deforestation in the world et se fait au dépens des dernières forêts tropicales primaires en Indonésie et, de plus en plus, en RDC. Il est à noter que l’huile de palme se cache dans de nombreux produits et est parfois invisible sur les listes d’ingrédients comme le dénonce l’ONG Foodwatch qui demande plus de transparence dans les étiquettes (pétition). Enfin, grâce à Total et au gouvernement français, l’huile de palme se cache également dans le réservoir de votre voiture !

Il n’est pas forcément opportun de bannir l’huile de palme pour la remplacer par une autre huile (qui pourrait avoir un impact pire sur l’environnement), mais il faut réduire son niveau de consommation au maximum, et tenter de s’assurer de sa provenance. Une tâche encore ardue en 2019. Vous pouvez également signer la pétition de Greenpeace contre la déforestation en Indonésie liée à l’huile de palme.

Car tires

La production de caoutchouc naturel a explosé depuis 2000 avec une augmentation de 75% de sa production mondiale via notamment la fabrication des pneus (70% de la production de catouchouc y est consacrée). C’est l’un des principaux facteurs de déforestation en Indonésie, Malaisie et Thaïlande comme le dénoncent le WWF and Mighty Earth.

Que faire ? Prendre moins la voiture pour commencer (ce qui réduit aussi notre consommation d’huile de palme), mais aussi n’acheter que des pneus avec un bon indice d’usure pour maximiser leur durabilité, ou des pneus reconditionnés et fabriqués en France, ou demander une certification (FSC ou équivalent) du caoutchouc de ces pneus.

L'impact des pneus de voiture sur la forêt en Asie du Sud-Est

And the rest: paper, wood, etc.

The paper, wood and other amenities are not the main drivers of deforestation in relation to other threats, but they contribute.

Paper - If you have to print at home, or order on behalf of your business, choose certified paper, but not with any labels. Opt for 100% recycled paper or FSC certified virgin fiber. The best is to have papers that combine two or more certifications such as FSC label, the label Blue angel or the European Ecolabel.

The Imprim'Vert or PEFC labels often put forward in France offer very few guarantees as these labels have been set up by, respectively, printers and paper manufacturers themselves.

Wood - For the purchase of wood (flooring, furniture, outdoor furniture, etc.), choose FSC certified wood. In the absence of this certificate, opt for furniture made from local wood species (beech, oak, chestnut ...) and short circuits. Greenpeace gives some additional tips on this page.

The limit of individual actions

Etendons la question à la crise climatique et à celle de la biodiversité dans leur ensemble : Manger moins de viande, prendre moins l’avion, rouler en vélo et autres ‘petits’ gestes individuels… cela sera-t-il suffisant pour sauver le climat et la biodiversité ? Pas complètement. Faut-il pour autant ne rien faire ? Bien au contraire !

Doing Your Part 6 - Carbon 4

Power and responsibility of individuals, companies and the state facing the climate emergency.
Click on the image to open wide. Source: report Doing Your Part Carbone 4.

Behavioral changes are necessary. The greatest impact of them to mitigate the severity of the situation. For example, between 1990 and 2010, the only French consumer item which has seen its carbon footprint decrease was food, with the consequent reduction in red meat consumption, decrease from health scandals and concerns of health (read letter Carbone 4 orArticle from terraecO).

Above all, make a choice of consumption or non-consumption is a way of change its relationship with the worldTo become aware of its impact and to push the reflection further. Studies have also shown that changes of opinion and behavior in the population reflected by changes at the political level. And of course, it must involve individual gestures to other means described in the above paragraphs'Influence public decisions'And'Supporting a reforestation project‘. Everything starts with us!

Our Partners

This reforestation project is supported by MaltemInitial funding to the tune of € 10,000 was obtained from MaltemEnabling the launch of Village Forestry Project. Maltem is an ecosystem of specialized consulting companies in the digital transformation and sustainable innovation, and a partner of Naturevolution since 2016.

The entire series of articles

An article proposed by Gaëtan Deltour and Yann Bigant

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