FOREST Act Would Help Stop Illegal Deforestation Around the World

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan bill aimed at reducing illegal deforestation around the world is essential to meeting the United States’ carbon-emissions-reduction goals at home. The FOREST Act would help the federal government stop imports of products produced on illegally-cleared forestland around the world. In a hearing, members of Congress discussed how the production of cattle, palm oil, soy, and other key commodities drives the majority of illegal deforestation worldwide.

The FOREST Act would restrict access to U.S. markets for illegally-produced commodities that are then sold in America’s grocery stores, reducing the incentive for illegal deforestation and assuring that American consumers don’t unwittingly contribute to deforestation. These restrictions would apply to products grown on forestland that is cleared after the bill takes effect.

“We cannot meet our climate change goals without reducing illegal deforestation around the world,” said Barbara Bramble, vice president of international conservation programs at the National Wildlife Federation. “Too many products on the shelves in our grocery stores come from this illegal deforestation that harms communities, wildlife, and the environment. This bill would ensure that the incentive for illegal deforestation is stopped at the root. We thank Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.) for their work on this issue.”

Tropical deforestation is one of the leading causes of emissions and biodiversity loss.


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