Brazilian indigenous want “more ambition” from EU

The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a regulation proposal that would increase deforestation controls on products imported to the economic zone, including many commodities produced in Brazil. The new law, if approved by member states, would force companies to carry out due diligence on goods sold in the EU to make sure they are not produced on deforested or degraded land.

In what was seen as a victory of indigenous rights associations — particularly in Brazil — members of parliament included a requirement for companies exporting to the EU to obtain consent from indigenous communities in their vicinity before setting up commodity-producing factories close to their protected lands.

However, the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib) complained that the approved proposal left out requests to include protections for all biomes, regardless of forest coverage. Apib coordinator Dinamam Tuxá warned that the non-inclusion of this provision “will cause increased deforestation pressure outside of the Amazon.”

“We would have liked this law to be more ambitious, principally recognizing and protecting other biomes, to the protection of communities that are also threatened by the advance of agribusiness,” he said.

The proposal does not include bans for specific products, or goods from specific countries, but the European Commission will gather data over the regulation’s first six months to sort countries into classifications of low, standard, or high risk. Products from low-risk areas would then be subject to less stringent rules.

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