Alex Armstrong

Le groupe Casino mis en demeure de ne plus vendre de boeuf issu de la déforestation au Brésil et en Colombie

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Une coalition internationale d’associations (Canopée, CPT, Envol Vert, Mighty Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous et Sherpa) et d’organisations représentatives des peuples autochtones de Colombie et du Brésil (OPIAC, COIAB, FEPIPA, et FEPOIMT) met en demeure le groupe Casino de prendre les mesures nécessaires pour exclure le boeuf issu de la déforestation et  l’accaparement de territoires autochtones de sa chaîne d’approvisionnement au Brésil et en Colombie. Elle se réserve également le droit de solliciter la réparation des préjudices qui en découlent.

L’élevage bovin est la cause principale de la déforestation de l’Amazonie

Selon les données de l’INPE (Institut national de recherche spatiale brésilien), sur la période d’août 2019 à juillet 2020, qui est la référence pour observer l’évolution de la déforestation, 9216 km2 ont été déboisés en Amazonie brésilienne, soit 34,5 % de plus que la période précédente.

L’élevage bovin en est la principale cause. Les enquêtes menées depuis près de 10 ans ne cessent de pointer la responsabilité des abattoirs et des distributeurs. Non seulement ils s'approvisionnent régulièrement en viande bovine provenant de zones récemment déforestées mais ils ferment les yeux sur les pratiques de “blanchiment de bétail” visant à contourner la législation brésilienne. Ces pratiques permettent à des exploitations responsables de crimes environnementaux de vendre leurs bœufs en toute impunité.

De la viande issue de la déforestation dans les supermarchés Casino au Brésil

Le groupe Casino est le leader de la distribution au Brésil à travers sa filiale “Grupo Pão de Açúcar”. Il y représente 15% des parts du marché, et près de la moitié du chiffre d’affaires mondial du groupe (47%) se fait sur le marché latino-américain.

En juin 2020, l’association Envol Vert publiait une enquête accablante, mettant en évidence des preuves de déforestation récente et de pratiques d'accaparement de terres menée à partir d’échantillons de produits carnés vendus dans plusieurs supermarchés du groupe Casino au Brésil.

Selon Boris Patentreger, fondateur de l’association, « Ces enquêtes démontrent l’existence de liens entre plusieurs fermes impliquées dans la déforestation illégale et des produits vendus dans les supermarchés du groupe Casino. A elles seules, ces fermes représentent 4497 hectares de déforestation. »

Casino en violation de son devoir de vigilance ?

Depuis 2017, le Groupe Casino est pourtant soumis à la loi française sur le devoir de vigilance qui lui impose de prendre des mesures adaptées pour prévenir les atteintes graves aux droits humains, à l’environnement et à la santé et sécurité des personnes résultant de ses activités, de celles de ses filiales, fournisseurs et sous-traitants. Alors que le groupe Casino reconnaît explicitement que la chaîne d’approvisionnement en viande bovine au Brésil est exposée à des risques extrêmement graves, sa politique en la matière est manifestement défaillante.
Selon Sandra Cossart, de l’association Sherpa, « le seul fait que Casino déclare dans son plan de vigilance que 100% de ses fournisseurs ont adhéré à sa politique sur la déforestation, alors que l’implication de ces mêmes fournisseurs dans la déforestation est régulièrement dénoncée, démontre que cette politique est soit inadaptée, soit non mise en oeuvre, soit les deux. »

Etelle Higonnet, directrice de campagnes à Mighty Earth, ajoute: « Casino achète du bœuf à des fournisseurs comme JBS, l'une des pires entreprises internationales en ce qui concerne la déforestation – et la plus grande entreprise de viande au monde. JBS est devenu célèbre pour sa corruption grâce au scandale « Lava Jato » (lavage express) ainsi que son implication dans l'esclavage moderne, la déforestation, les incendies en Amazonie, et l'accaparement des terres autochtones. Cependant, grâce à la nouvelle loi française, Casino doit enfin assumer une réelle responsabilité envers JBS et tous ses autres fournisseurs de viande responsables de déforestation et des violations des droits humains. En effet, tous les supermarchés français sont désormais avertis : nous avons l’intention de les tenir responsables du respect de la loi. »

Pour Célia Jouayed, de l’association Notre Affaire à Tous, « il est nécessaire que les grandes entreprises telle que Casino prennent toute la mesure de la portée de la loi sur le devoir de vigilance qui leur impose de prendre les mesures concrètes visant à prévenir les risques au droits humains, à l’environnement et à la santé, et non pas de se contenter de les identifier de manière formelle dans un document. » 

Pour Me Sébastien Mabile et Me François de Cambiaire du cabinet Seattle, conseils des associations, « il s’agit d’une action historique contre le groupe Casino, fondée sur une loi pionnière qui permettra au juge français de prescrire les mesures qui s’imposent pour enrayer la destruction de l’Amazonie par des compagnies françaises et réparer les préjudices subis. »

Les associations OPIAC, COIAB, FEPIPA, FEPOIMT, CPT, Canopée, Envol Vert, Mighty Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous et Sherpa demandent formellement au groupe Casino de respecter ses obligations légales en prenant les mesures nécessaires pour exclure tout le bœuf issu de la déforestation de sa chaîne d’approvisionnement. Si l’entreprise ne se met pas en conformité dans un délai de 3 mois prévu par la loi, les associations entendent saisir la juridiction compétente.

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Envol vert agit pour la préservation de la forêt et de la biodiversité en Amérique Latine (principalement Colombie et Pérou) et en France. Depuis 2011, nous développons des projets de terrain concrets et efficaces qui incluent la reforestation d’aires dégradées, le développement de l’agroforesterie et d’alternatives à la coupe illégale comme l’écotourisme, le développement de réserves naturelles, la sauvegarde ou la réintroduction d’espèces.  Envol Vert mène également des campagnes de communication et des actions de sensibilisation afin d’inciter les entreprises et les citoyens à changer leurs modes de production et/ou de consommation.

Mighty Earth est une organisation globale de plaidoyer qui œuvre pour la protection des forêts tropicales, des océans et du climat. Nos campagnes et notre équipe ont joué un rôle de premier plan en persuadant les plus grandes entreprises mondiales du secteur de l’alimentation et de l’agriculture d’adopter des politiques visant à éliminer la déforestation et les atteintes aux droits de l’homme de leurs chaînes d’approvisionnement, et ont conduit à l’adoption de transferts de plusieurs milliards de dollars vers l’énergie propre.

Notre Affaire à Tous  est une association qui oeuvre pour protéger le vivant, les communs naturels et le climat via l’utilisation du droit. Issu-es du mouvement pour la reconnaissance du crime d’écocide dans le droit international afin de sanctionner les crimes les plus graves contre l’environnement et à l’origine de l’Affaire du Siècle, les membres de Notre Affaire à Tous se positionnent comme « avocat-es de la planète », en cherchant à établir par la jurisprudence, le plaidoyer juridique et la mobilisation citoyenne une responsabilité effective et objective de l’humain vis-à-vis de l’environnement.

Seattle Avocats est un cabinet d’avocat spécialisé sur les questions de responsabilité des entreprises du fait d’atteintes à l’environnement et aux droits humains. Monsieur Sébastien Mabile et Monsieur François de Cambiaire représentent des ONGs et des collectivités dans le cadre des premières actions introduites sur le fondement de la loi devoir de vigilance des entreprises, notamment contre Total et contre le groupe de transport XPO Logistics, et s’intéressent en particulier aux débats en cours au niveau international et européen sur la responsabilité sociale et pénale des multinationales. S’agissant de dommages particulièrement graves à l’environnement ayant des conséquences tout aussi graves sur les droits des populations autochtones, le cabinet Seattle Avocats apporte son soutien et ses compétences à la coalition internationale d’associations qui mettent en demeure le groupe Casino de se conformer à la loi sur le devoir de vigilance.

Sherpa est une association créée en 2001 qui a pour mission de combattre les nouvelles formes d’impunité liées à la mondialisation et de défendre les communautés victimes de crimes économiques. Sherpa œuvre pour mettre le droit au service d’une mondialisation plus juste. L’action de l’association repose sur quatre outils interdépendants que sont le contentieux stratégique, le plaidoyer, le laboratoire de droit et le renforcement de capacités. Ces actions sont menées par une équipe de juristes et d’avocats. Les activités de Sherpa ont contribué à l’indemnisation de communautés affectées par des crimes économiques, à des décisions judiciaires historiques à l’égard de multinationales et de leurs dirigeants et à des politiques législatives inédites.

La Commission Pastorale de la Terre (CPT), créée en 1975, est rattachée à la Conférence nationale des évêques du Brésil (CNBB). Elle est engagée sur l’enjeu crucial du partage de la terre et contre la destruction de l’environnement. Ses équipes locales sont présentes dans chacun des Etats du Brésil, accompagnant à la base communautés et groupes en lutte, joignant sa voix aux leurs, dénonçant injustices, violences, discrimination, travail esclave.

OPIAC (Organisation Nationale des Peuples Autochtones de l'Amazonie Colombienne) est une institution autochtone colombienne, une organisation à but non lucratif qui exerce une représentation politique des peuples autochtones de l'Amazonie colombienne devant les institutions nationales et internationales. Son objectif principal est de faire en sorte que tous les droits collectifs et individuels de ses membres soient respectés et reconnus par tous les acteurs situés dans la région amazonienne colombienne.

COIAB (Coordination des organisations autochtones de l'Amazonie brésilienne) fondée le 19 avril 1989, est la plus grande organisation autochtone régionale du Brésil, qui a émergé à l'initiative des dirigeants des organisations autochtones. La mission du COIAB est de défendre les droits des peuples autochtones à la terre, à la santé, à l'éducation, à la culture et à la durabilité, en tenant compte de la diversité des peuples et en recherchant leur autonomie à travers l'articulation politique et le renforcement des organisation autochtones.

FEPIPA (Fédération des Peuples Autochtones du Pará) fondée en avril 2016, est une organisation autochtone, créée pour promouvoir le bien-être social, politique, économique et culturel et les droits de l'homme des peuples autochtones. Elle vise à défendre et à discuter des intérêts collectifs des peuples et communautés autochtones de l'État de Pará, en promouvant leur organisation sociale, culturelle, économique et politique, en renforçant leur autonomie.

FEPOIMT (Fédération des Peuples Autochtones du Mato Grosso) créée en juin 2016 est née de la nécessité de s’unir pour l'action et l'articulation politiques, visant à l'organisation sociale, culturelle, économique et au développement durable et politique des peuples et organisations autochtones du Mato Grosso. Ses principaux défis sont la garantie et la régularisation des terres, la gestion de l'environnement, la protection du territoire et la lutte pour les droits des autochtones.


Organizações indígenas e coalizão de ONGs notificam grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar a parar de vender carne originada de desmatamento no Brasil e na Colômbia, sob pena de enfrentar lei francesa: "Parem de brincar com nossas florestas"

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Uma coalizão internacional de associações (Canopée, CPT, Envol Vert, Mighty Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous e Sherpa) e organizações representativas dos povos indígenas da Amazônia (OPIAC, COIAB, FEPIPA, y FEPOIMT)  estão convocando o Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar a tomar as medidas necessárias para excluir da sua cadeia de abastecimento, no Brasil na Colômbia, e globalmente, a carne bovina oriunda de desmatamento ou de grilagem de territórios indígenas. A Coalizão se reserva o direito de buscar compensações por qualquer dano resultante.

O Casino / Pão de Açúcar / Grupo Éxito é um dos maiores e mais influentes grupos de supermercados da França, assim como do Brasil e da Colômbia - com um grande volume de compras de carne em todo o mundo, inclusive no Brasil.

A pecuária é o principal fator do desmatamento da Amazônia

Segundo dados do INPE (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais), o desmatamento atingiu mais de 9.216 km2 na Amazônia brasileira entre Agosto de 2019 e Julho de 2020, período usado como referência para o cálculo da evolução do desmatamento. Isso representa 34,5% a mais que no período anterior.

A pecuária é a principal causa. Investigações feitas há quase 10 anos continuam apontando para a responsabilidade dos frigoríficos e dos distribuidores. Eles não apenas adquirem habitualmente carne bovina oriunda de áreas recentemente desmatadas, mas também fazem vista grossa sobre práticas de “lavagem de gado” destinadas a driblar a legislação brasileira. Essas práticas permitem que os responsáveis por crimes ambientais vendam seu gado com total impunidade

Carnes ligadas a desmatamento são vendidas no Brasil em supermercados do Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar

O Grupo Casino é o primeiro na distribuição no Brasil por meio de sua subsidiária “Pão de Açúcar”. Ele detém 15% do mercado brasileiro. 47% do faturamento mundial do grupo é realizado neste mercado.

Em Junho de 2020, a associação ‘Envol Vert’ publicou uma investigação contundente evidenciando provas de desmatamento recente e práticas de grilagem, com base em amostras de produtos de carne vendidos em vários supermercados do Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar no Brasil. Segundo Boris Patentreger, fundador da associação Envol Vert, “essas investigações demonstram a existência de vínculos entre várias fazendas envolvidas em desmatamento ilegal e produtos comercializados nos supermercados do Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar. Por si só, essas fazendas representam 4497 hectares de desmatamento”.

O Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar pode estar violando da nova lei francesa “dever de vigilância”

Pois é : desde 2017, o Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar está sujeito à legislação francesa sobre o dever de vigilância, que obriga a empresa a tomar medidas adequadas para prevenir graves violações dos direitos humanos, do meio ambiente e da saúde e segurança das pessoas, decorrentes das suas operações e atividades ou das de suas subsidiárias, fornecedores ou subcontratados. Embora o Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar reconheça explicitamente que a cadeia de fornecimento de carne bovina no Brasil está exposta a riscos extremamente graves, sua política nessa área é claramente falha.

Segundo Sandra Cossart, da associação Sherpa, “o simples fato de o Casino declarar em seu plano de vigilância que 100% de seus fornecedores aderiram à sua política sobre desmatamento, enquanto esses mesmos fornecedores são regularmente condenados por seu envolvimento no desmatamento, mostra que esta política é inadequada, ou não implementada, ou ambos. ”

Etelle Higonnet, Diretora de Campanhas da Mighty Earth, afirmou “O Casino está comprando carne de fornecedores como a JBS, que é uma das piores empresas internacionais quanto ao desmatamento - e também a maior empresa de carne do mundo. A JBS se tornou famosa pela corrupção a partir do escândalo da Lava Jato e pelo seu histórico de envolvimento em trabalho escravo, desmatamento, incêndios na Amazônia, e grilagem de terras indígenas. No entanto, em virtude da nova lei francesa, o Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar deve finalmente assumir a responsabilidade em relação à JBS e a todos os seus outros fornecedores de carne que impulsionam o desmatamento ou violações de direitos humanos. Na verdade, todos os supermercados franceses estão agora de sobreaviso: é nossa intenção responsabilizá-los pelo respeito da lei.

Segundo Célia Jouayed, da associação Notre Affaire à Tous, “é necessário que grandes empresas, do porte do Casino, enxerguem toda a abrangência da lei do dever de vigilância. Isso impõe que tomem as medidas concretas visando a prevenir riscos aos direitos humanos, ao meio ambiente e à saúde, não bastando simplesmente identificá-los formalmente em algum documento.”

Para os advogados Sébastien Mabile e François de Cambiaire do “Escritório Seattle”, que representam as associações, “esta é uma ação histórica contra o Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar, baseada numa lei pioneira que permitirá ao juiz francês ordenar as medidas necessárias para deter a destruição da Amazônia causada por empresas francesas, e reparar os danos sofridos ”.

As associações OPIAC, COIAB, FEPIPA, FEPOIMT, CPT, Canopée, Envol Vert, Mighty Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous e Sherpa pedem formalmente ao Grupo Casino/Pão de Açúcar que respeite suas obrigações legais tomando as medidas necessárias para excluir de sua cadeia de abastecimento toda a carne bovina resultando de desmatamento. Caso a empresa não cumpra o prazo de 3 meses previsto na lei, as associações pretendem remeter a questão para o tribunal competente.

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Envol vert atua pela preservação de florestas e biodiversidade na América Latina (principalmente Colômbia e Peru) e na França. Desde 2011, tem desenvolvido projetos de campo concretos e eficazes que incluem o reflorestamento de áreas degradadas, o desenvolvimento de sistemas agroflorestais e alternativas à extração ilegal de madeira como o ecoturismo, o desenvolvimento de reservas naturais, a preservação ou a reintrodução de espécies. A Envol Vert também realiza campanhas de comunicação e ações de sensibilização para incentivar empresas e cidadãos a mudarem os seus padrões de produção e/ou consumo.

Mighty Earth é uma organização global de advocacia que trabalha para proteger as florestas tropicais, os oceanos e o clima. Nossas campanhas e nossa equipe têm desempenhado um papel importante em persuadir as maiores empresas de alimentos e agricultura do mundo a adotar políticas para acabar com o desmatamento e as violações dos direitos humanos nas suas cadeias de abastecimento. Como resultado já foram transferidos bilhões de dólares para a adoção de energia limpa.

Notre Affaire à Tous é uma associação que trabalha para proteger a vida, os bens comuns naturais e o clima através do uso da lei. Vindo do movimento pelo reconhecimento do crime de ecocídio no direito internacional para punir os crimes mais graves contra o meio ambiente e na origem do Caso do Século, os próprios membros do Notre Affaire à Tous se posicionam como “defensores do planeta”, buscando estabelecer através da jurisprudência, da advocacia e da mobilização cidadã uma responsabilidade efetiva e objetiva do ser humano perante o meio ambiente.

Seattle Advogados é um escritório de advocacia especializado na questão da responsabilidade das empresas em caso de violações ao meio ambiente e aos direitos humanos. Os advogados Sébastien Mabile e François de Cambiaire representam ONGs e coletividades nas primeiras ações interpostas com base na lei do dever corporativo de vigilância, a exemplo das ações contra Total e contra o grupo XPO Logistics, e focam a atenção sobre os debates em curso em nível internacional e europeu sobre a responsabilidade social e penal das multinacionais. Em se tratando de danos particularmente graves para o meio ambiente com consequências não menos graves para os direitos de populações originárias, o Seattle Advogados está colocando suas competências a serviço da coalizão internacional de organizações que exigem do grupo Casino que se conforme à lei sobre o dever de vigilância.

Sherpa  é uma associação criada em 2001 com a missão de combater as novas formas de impunidade vinculadas à globalização e defender as comunidades vítimas de crimes econômicos. Sherpa trabalha para colocar o Direito a serviço de uma globalização mais justa. A ação da associação é baseada em quatro ferramentas interdependentes: pesquisa, litígio, advocacia e capacitação. Essas ações são realizadas por uma equipe de juristas e advogados. As atividades de Sherpa ajudaram a compensar comunidades afetadas por crimes econômicos, a tomar decisões judiciais históricas contra multinacionais e seus líderes e a promover políticas legislativas inovadoras.

A OPIAC (Organização Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas da Amazônia Colombiana) é uma instituição indígena colombiana, uma organização sem fins lucrativos que exerce a representação política dos povos indígenas da Amazônia colombiana perante instituições nacionais e internacionais. Seu principal objetivo é garantir que todos os direitos coletivos e individuais de seus membros sejam respeitados e reconhecidos por todos os atores localizados na região amazônica colombiana.

COIAB (Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira), fundada em 19 de abril de 1989 é a maior organização indígena regional do Brasil, que surgiu por iniciativa das lideranças das organizações indígenas. A missão da COIAB é defender os direitos dos povos indígenas à terra, saúde, educação, cultura e sustentabilidade, levando em conta a diversidade dos povos e buscando sua autonomia por meio da articulação política e fortalecimento das organizações indígenas.

FEPIPA (Federação dos Povos Indígenas do Pará), fundada em abril de 2016, é uma organização indígena criada para promover o bem-estar social, político, econômico e cultural e os direitos humanos dos povos indígenas. Tem como objetivo defender e discutir os interesses coletivos dos povos e comunidades indígenas do Estado de Pará, promovendo sua organização social, cultural, econômica e política, e fortalecendo sua autonomia.

A FEPOIMT (Federação dos Povos Indígenas de Mato Grosso), criada em junho de 2016, nasceu da necessidade de unir para a ação e articulação política, visando à organização social, cultural, econômica e ao desenvolvimento sustentável e político da povos e organizações indígenas de Mato Grosso. Seus principais desafios são a garantia e regularização fundiária, a gestão ambiental, a proteção do território e a luta pelos direitos indígenas.

A Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT), criada em 1975, é vinculada à Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil (CNBB). Seu compromisso é com a questão crucial da distribuição da terra e contra a destruição do meio ambiente. Suas equipes locais estão presentes em cada estado do Brasil, acompanhando em sua luta comunidades e grupos de base, unindo sua voz à deles, denunciando injustiças, violências, discriminação, trabalho escravo.


Supermercados Éxito (Grupo Casino) conminados a no vender carne proveniente de la deforestación en Brasil y Colombia

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Una coalición internacional de asociaciones (Canopée, Commission Pastorale de la Terre, Envol Vert, Mighty Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous, y Sherpa), en alianza con organizaciones representativas de los pueblos indígenas amazónicos de Colombia y Brasil (OPIAC, COIAB, FEPIPA y FEPOIMT), están pidiendo al grupo Casino que tome las medidas necesarias para excluir la carne de vaca conectada a la deforestación y el acaparamiento de tierras Indígenas en su cadena de suministro en Brasil, Colombia, y a nivel mundial. También se reservan el derecho a buscar una indemnización por cualquier daño resultante.

Casino / Pão de Açúcar / Grupo Éxito es uno de los grupos de supermercados más grandes e influyentes de Francia, así como de Brasil y Colombia, con compras masivas de carne en todo el mundo, incluido Brasil.

La ganadería es la principal fuente de deforestación en la Amazonía

Según datos del INPE (Instituto Nacional Brasileño de Investigaciones Espaciales), la deforestación alcanzó 9.216 km2 en la Amazonía brasileña entre agosto de 2019 y julio de 2020, que es el punto de referencia para observar la evolución de la deforestación. Esto representa una aumentación de 34,5% en comparación con el período anterior.

La ganadería es la principal causa. Las investigaciones realizadas durante casi 10 años continúan señalando la responsabilidad de los mataderos y distribuidores. No solo obtienen regularmente carne de áreas recientemente deforestadas, sino que hacen también la vista gorda a las prácticas de “lavado de ganado” destinadas a eludir la ley brasileña. Estas prácticas permiten a las fincas responsables de delitos ambientales vender su ganado con impunidad.

Carne proveniente de deforestación en los supermercados de Casino en Brasil.

El grupo Casino es el líder de la distribución en Brasil a través de su filial “Pão de Açúcar”. El grupo controla 15% del mercado allí; y casi la mitad de la facturación mundial del grupo se hace en América del Sur (47%).

En junio de 2020, la asociación Envol Vert publicó una investigación condenatoria, destacando la evidencia de prácticas recientes de deforestación y acaparamiento de tierras llevadas a cabo con muestras de productos cárnicos vendidos en varios supermercados del Grupo Casino en Brasil.

Según Boris Patentreger, fundador de la asociación, “estas investigaciones demuestran la existencia de vínculos entre varias fincas involucradas en la deforestación ilegal y productos vendidos en los supermercados del grupo Casino. Estas fincas por sí solas representan 4497 ​​hectáreas de deforestación ”.

¿ Casino/Grupo Éxito inclumple su “deber de vigilancia” segun la ley francesa ?

Sin embargo, desde 2017, el Grupo Casino/Éxito está sujeto a la ley francesa sobre el deber de vigilancia, que le obliga a tomar las medidas adecuadas para prevenir violaciones graves de los derechos humanos, del medio ambiente, y de la salud y seguridad de las personas como resultado de sus operaciones o actividades, y las de sus filiales, proveedores y subcontratistas. Si bien el Grupo Casino/Éxito reconoce explícitamente que la cadena de suministro de carne vacuna en Brasil está expuesta a riesgos extremadamente graves, su política en esta área es claramente defectuosa. Según Sandra Cossart, de la asociación Sherpa, “el mero hecho de que el Grupo Casino/Éxito declare en su plan de vigilancia que el 100% de sus proveedores se han adherido a su política contra la deforestación, mientras que estos mismos proveedores son regularmente condenados por su participación en la deforestación, muestra que esta política es inadecuada o no se ha implementado, o ambas cosas.”

Etelle Higonnet, directora de campañas de Mighty Earth, agregó: “Casino/Grupo Éxito compra carne de res a proveedores como JBS, una de las peores empresas del mundo para deforestación, y la mayor empresa cárnica del mundo. JBS se ha hecho famoso por su corrupción a través del escándalo "Lava Jato" (Lavado de Carros), así como por su participación en la esclavitud moderna, la deforestación, los incendios en el Amazonas, y el acaparamiento de tierras indígenas. Sin embargo, gracias a la nueva ley francesa, Casino finalmente debe asumir una responsabilidad real hacia JBS y todos sus otros proveedores de carne responsables de la deforestación y las violaciones de derechos humanos. De hecho, ahora se advierte a todos los supermercados franceses: tenemos la intención de hacerlos responsables del cumplimiento de la ley.”

Para Célia Jouayed, de la asociación Notre Affaire à Tous, “es necesario que las grandes empresas como Casino tomen todo el alcance de la ley sobre el deber de vigilancia que les obliga a tomar medidas concretas para prevenir riesgos para los derechos humanos, el medio ambiente y la salud, y no solo para identificarlos formalmente en un documento.”

Para los abogados Sébastien Mabille y François de Cambiaire del ‘Gabinete de Seattle’, consejos de asociaciones, “esta es una acción histórica contra el grupo Casino/Grupo Éxito, basada en una ley pionera que permitirá al juez francés prescribir las medidas necesarias para detener la destrucción del Amazonas por parte de empresas francesas y reparar el daño sufrido.”

Las asociaciones OPIAC, COIAB, FEPIPA, FEPIOMT, CPT, Canopée, Envol Vert, Mighty Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous, y Sherpa solicitan formalmente al grupo Casino que respete sus obligaciones legales tomando las medidas necesarias para excluir de su cadena de suministro toda la carne vacuna resultante de la deforestación. Si la empresa no cumple dentro de los 3 meses previstos por la ley, las asociaciones tienen la intención de remitir el asunto al tribunal competente.

______________________________________________________

Envol Vert actúa por la preservación de los bosques y la biodiversidad en América Latina (principalmente Colombia y Perú) y en Francia. Desde 2011, venimos desarrollando proyectos de campo concretos y efectivos que incluyen la reforestación de áreas degradadas, el desarrollo de la agroforestería y alternativas a la tala ilegal como el ecoturismo, el desarrollo de reservas naturales, la conservación o la reintroducción de especies. Envol Vert también realiza campañas de comunicación y acciones de sensibilización para animar a las empresas y la ciudadanía a cambiar sus patrones de producción y / o consumo.

Mighty Earth es una organización de campaña ambiental global que trabaja para proteger los bosques, conservar los océanos y abordar el cambio climático. Trabajamos para impulsar acciones a gran escala hacia una agricultura ambientalmente responsable que proteja los ecosistemas nativos, la vida silvestre y el agua, y respete los derechos de las comunidades locales. Nos enfocamos en conservar paisajes amenazados como selvas tropicales, proteger océanos y resolver el cambio climático. Nuestras campañas y nuestro equipo han desempeñado un papel de liderazgo en persuadir a las empresas de alimentos y agricultura más grandes del mundo para que adopten políticas para eliminar la deforestación y el abuso de los derechos humanos de sus cadenas de suministro, y han impulsado la adopción de cambios multimillonarios hacia la energía limpia.

Notre Affaire à Tous es una asociación que trabaja para proteger la vida, los bienes comunes naturales y el clima mediante el uso de la ley. Procedentes del movimiento por el reconocimiento del delito de ecocidio en el derecho internacional para sancionar los delitos más graves contra el medio ambiente y en el origen del Asunto del Siglo, los miembros de Notre Affaire à Tous se posicionan como “defensores del planeta”, buscando establecer a través de la jurisprudencia, la incidencia legal y la movilización ciudadana una responsabilidad efectiva y objetiva del ser humano hacia el medio ambiente.

Seattle Avocats es un gabinete de abogados especializado sobre las preguntas de responsabilidad de las empresas con respecto a daños ambientales y violaciones de los derechos humanos. Los señores Sebastien Mabile y François de Cambiaire representan a varias ONG’s y municipios en las primeras acciones  introducidas sobre la base de la ley de “deber de vigilancia” de las empresas, en particular contra Total y el grupo de transporte XPO Logistics, y están especialmente interesados en los actuales debates internacionales y europeos sobre la responsabilidad social y penal de las multinacionales. En cuanto a los daños particularmente graves al medio ambiente con consecuencias igualmente graves para los derechos de las poblaciones autóctonas, Seattle Avocats presta su apoyo y sus conocimientos a la coalición internacional de asociaciones que piden al grupo Casino que cumpla la ley sobre el deber de vigilancia.

Sherpa es una asociación creada en 2001 cuya misión es luchar contra las nuevas formas de impunidad ligadas a la globalización y defender a las comunidades víctimas de delitos económicos. La acción de la asociación se basa en cuatro herramientas interdependientes: investigación, litigio, incidencia y desarrollo de capacidades. Estas acciones son realizadas por un equipo de juristas y abogados. Las actividades de Sherpa han ayudado a compensar a comunidades afectadas por delitos económicos, y han contribuido a fallos judiciales históricos contra multinacionales y sus líderes y a políticas legislativas innovadoras.

OPIAC (Organización Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas de la Amazonia Colombiana) es laa organización que ejerce la representación política de los pueblos indígenas de la Amazonía colombiana ante instituciones nacionales e internacionales. Su principal objetivo es lograr que todos los derechos colectivos e individuales de sus integrantes sean respetados y reconocidos por todos los actores ubicados en la región amazónica colombiana.

COIAB (Coordinación de Organizaciones Indígenas de la Amazonía Brasileña) fundada el 19 de abril de 1989, es la organización indígena regional más grande de Brasil, que surgió por iniciativa de líderes de organizaciones indígenas. La misión de COIAB es defender los derechos de los pueblos indígenas a la tierra, la salud, la educación, la cultura y la sostenibilidad, teniendo en cuenta la diversidad de los pueblos y buscando su autonomía a través de articulación política y fortalecimiento de las organizaciones indígenas.

FEPIPA (Federación de Pueblos Indígenas de Pará) fundada en abril de 2016, es una organización indígena, creada para promover el bienestar social, político, económico y cultural y los derechos humanos de los pueblos indígenas. Tiene como objetivo defender y discutir los intereses colectivos de los pueblos y comunidades indígenas del Estado de Pará, promoviendo su organización social, cultural, económica y política, fortaleciendo su autonomía.

FEPOIMT (Federación de Pueblos Indígenas de Mato Grosso) creada en junio de 2016 nació de la necesidad de unirnos para la acción y articulación política, con el objetivo de la organización social, cultural, económica y el desarrollo político y sostenible de pueblos y organizaciones indígenas de Mato Grosso. Sus principales desafíos son la garantía y regularización de la tierra, la gestión ambiental, la protección del territorio y la lucha por los derechos indígenas.

CPT (Comisión Pastoral de la Tierra) es parte de las Comisiones Pastorales de la Conferencia de Obispos de Brasil. Fue creado para defender a los campesinos y asegurar una presencia solidaria y fraterna entre las poblaciones rurales. Presente en muchas diócesis, está comprometida con el tema crucial de compartir la tierra y contra la destrucción del medio ambiente.


Cargill's Vague Plan to Address its Environmental Destruction Lacks Key Details

Cargill has announced a pledge to improve farming practices on 10 million acres of North American farmland by 2030. In response, Mighty Earth Campaign Director Lucia von Reusner released the following statement: 

“American farmland has been deteriorating rapidly under the onslaught of industrial farming practices that tear up the landscape and pollute water with little regard to the consequences. Cargill’s announcement suggests they are beginning to recognize the urgency of the problem. Unfortunately, Cargill has a history of making ambitious, highly publicized promises to address the damage caused by its supply chains but frequently fails to provide concrete implementation plans or details for follow-through. Americans want and deserve a clear plan explaining how Cargill is going to keep our waters clean, the climate stable, and soils healthy. 

“Cargill has a long track record as one of themost polluting companies in America. Overcoming this reputation will require transparency and clear evidence of verifiable changes that are reported to the public. We urge Cargill to provide clear details for how this promise will be implemented and evaluated, and to provide regular reports on progress. 

“Key details that are missing from Cargill’s pledge include the locations and total number of acres engaged, the types of farming practices that will be implemented, including cover cropping, conservation tillage, fertilizer optimization, buffer strips, and protection for native ecosystems, the environmental outcomes achieved for those acres – with a particular focus on reducing nutrient runoff, and the specific methods for tracking and verifying environmental improvements. 

“This information is necessary for customers, employees, local communities, and financiers to know where and how Cargill is delivering on its sustainability promise.”  

Background:  

The action from Cargill follows a year of campaigning by Mighty Earth and communities across the American Midwest and South concerned about agricultural runoff pollution. Runoff from industrial farms is the largest source of water pollution in the United States, contaminating drinking water for millions of Americans and causing toxic ‘dead zones’ in key waterways. Uncontrolled runoff from industrial agriculture gets flushed down the Mississippi River and is the main source of pollution causing the Gulf of Mexico’s annual dead zone, which regularly expands to an area covering thousands of square miles. Mighty Earth reports have found Cargill to be responsible for water pollution in the United States as well as widespread deforestation across Latin America. As one of the largest agribusiness companies in the world, Cargill plays a major role in shaping global farming practices. 

Additional Resources: 


Mighty Earth Sends Strong Message to Car Companies Ahead of Crucial Rubber Industry Vote

As members prepare to vote on several key resolutions at the annual General Assembly of the Global Platform on Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) on September 23, Mighty Earth has urged car companies to reaffirm their commitments to a sustainable rubber industry. Key resolutions up for endorsement include ones that would enable the equal participation of smallholder farmers in the Platform, establish an effective grievance mechanism, and set out a strong set of policy commitments for member companies to stop deforestation and human rights abuses. Ultimately, these commitments are what will ensure that GPSNR can make the transformational change it set out to achieve.

However, following indications that not all companies within GPSNR fully understand the imperative of making such shared commitments, Mighty Earth sent the following letter to the auto manufacturers in GPSNR, including BMW, Ford, GM, Renault, and Toyota. Their support, as well as that of all GPSNR members, is crucial to creating a truly sustainable and ethical rubber industry.

 


 

 

September 10, 2020

Dear GPSNR OEM Member Companies,

As we enter into the voting period prior to the second General Assembly of the Global Platform on Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), Mighty Earth is deeply concerned about the future of this platform. Several critical resolutions are in the hands of the General Assembly and will determine whether or not our collective endeavor is one that truly embraces transparency, accountability, smallholder participation, and responsibility to local communities.

Over the past eighteen months, we at Mighty Earth have strived to engage consistently and productively in the discussions which led to the drafting of these resolutions, including through our active participation in the Strategy & Objectives Working Group, Smallholder Participation Working Group, Capacity Building Working Group, Policy Toolkit Working Group, and the GPSNR Executive Committee.

While we did not always get everything we want, we recognize that there were some compromises that needed to be made in order to make the big picture progress that is sorely needed in the rubber industry, which, as you are no doubt aware, still lags considerably behind sustainability efforts in other comparable tropical agriculture and forest commodities. Thus, we are supportive of all of the resolutions that are before the General Assembly, and encourage all of our colleagues in GPSNR to vote in favor of their adoption.

While we were dismayed at the belated intervention of OEM members in expressing qualms over the proposed member policy commitments, Mighty Earth, and the civil society caucus as a whole, has nonetheless spent considerable time and effort working with the OEM member companies to figure out solutions that would enable the adoption of required Policy Components which are flexible enough to meet the needs of auto manufacturers, while still ensuring that there will be collective accountability and singularity of purpose for all sectors within the rubber value chain.

Given these efforts, and the willingness shown by civil society members to make difficult compromises, we are concerned that there is still not a concrete commitment from your member category to honor the worked out agreements by voting to approve Resolution 2f, which would endorse the Policy Framework and member requirements.

As we and other CSO members have outlined, setting clear commitments and defining priorities is a critical first step for any transformational change. If we do not know what we are trying to collectively achieve, efforts to develop implementation guidance for companies will be haphazard, disjointed, and ultimately futile. From Mighty Earth’s perspective, it would not be a good use of our capacity to invest in the creation of plans to assist member companies in achieving sustainable natural rubber supply chains if we cannot be sure whether members have the willingness or ambition to adopt those plans in good faith.

While we believe that some OEMs agree with the importance of goal-setting, and have the same level of ambition to transform the rubber industry as we do, it is essential that the category as a whole demonstrate its support by approving the Policy Framework resolution. If the OEM (or any other) member category were to veto this key resolution, we would interpret this as a deliberate attempt to weaken the ambition of GPSNR. To be clear, without the adoption of shared policy requirements, we would view GPSNR as a failing endeavor, and would communicate this accordingly, citing our disappointment in the stakeholders that are responsible for blocking progress.

When GPSNR was launched, we decided to take a leap of faith and chose to engage with companies that had stated their commitment to truly transformational supply chain action. OEMs were, at the time, critical to setting the foundations of this venture on a firm footing. We believed that this platform could rise to the challenge of eradicating deforestation, human rights abuses, and smallholder poverty from rubber supply chains. We remain hopeful that we can continue in this direction, but rely on the willingness and good faith of the OEM member category to support this vision, through a vote in favor of all of the resolutions. We all agreed to a set of 12 Principles in March 2019, let us take the next step towards realizing those by adopting the Policy Components, along with the other key resolutions.


Menghijaukan Kenormalan Baru

Menghijaukan Kenormalan Baru

Oleh  Monica Nirmala

Apa yang baik bagi alam, baik bagi kita. Apa yang menyakiti alam, membawa penyakit bagi kita.

Virus penyebab Covid-19 diperkirakan berasal dari satwa liar. Dalam beberapa bulan, Covid-19 telah menjangkiti 14 juta orang lebih, membunuh lebih dari 600.000 jiwa, dan memorakporandakan ekonomi dunia. Mungkinkah Covid-19 sebenarnya adalah ulah manusia mengganggu keseimbangan alam yang kemudian berbalik mengancam keselamatan kita semua?

Para peneliti mencari tahu asal-muasal Covid-19 dengan mempelajari genetika virus. SARS-CoV-2—virus penyebab Covid-19—diperkirakan berasal dari kelelawar karena kemiripan genomenya. Kelelawar dan virus korona sebetulnya sudah hidup bersama (co-exist) selama jutaan tahun. Virus korona tidak berbahaya bagi kelelawar, tetapi menjadi fatal ketika ia berhasil ”melompat” ke makhluk hidup lain. Pada Covid-19, virus korona diperkirakan melompat dari kelelawar ke trenggiling (sebagai inang perantara), yang kemudian berhasil melompat lagi ke manusia.

Zoonosis—penyakit pada manusia yang berasal dari hewan—tidak datang dengan sendirinya. Bukan secara mendadak kelelawar atau trenggiling hadir dalam hidup manusia, lalu menularkan virus. Namun, manusialah yang memburu, merusak habitat, memperdagangkan, dan mengonsumsi hewan itu secara ilegal.

Lembaga TRAFFIC yang berfokus pada isu perdagangan satwa liar melaporkan, sepanjang 2010-2015, Indonesia pemasok terbesar (83 persen) perdagangan trenggiling ilegal di dunia yang mencapai 10.000 ekor per tahun. Mungkinkah satwa liar yang diperdagangkan di pasar basah di Wuhan—ground zero Covid-19, berasal dari Indonesia?

Covid-19 mungkin yang terburuk, tetapi bukanlah yang pertama. Dalam 30 tahun terakhir, seiring dengan semakin rusaknya alam, bertambahnya populasi manusia, kontaminasi sumber makanan dan air, serta berbagai faktor lain, dunia telah mengalami wabah-wabah baru bermunculan. Beberapa di antaranya flu burung, SARS, ebola, flu babi, HIV-AIDS, dan MERS.

Lembaga United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) dalam laporan Preventing the Next Pandemic (2020) menyatakan, 75 persen dari penyakit infeksi yang baru muncul (new emerging infectious diseases) berasal dari binatang.

Tak hanya zoonosis

Selain Covid-19, banyak contoh lain yang menggambarkan bahwa ketika manusia menyakiti alam, kita sendiri yang akhirnya jadi sakit. Misalnya, orang Kalimantan percaya bahwa ketika hutan dibabat, penyakit akan muncul, seperti tulah. Para ilmuwan membuktikan apa yang dipercaya orang-orang Kalimantan ini benar.

Ilmuwan Garg (2017) membuktikan bahwa penurunan 1 persen tutupan hutan di Indonesia meningkatkan 10 persen insiden malaria. Bahkan, Chakrabarti (2018) menunjukkan bahwa di Indonesia, bayi pertama dari ibu-ibu yang lingkungannya mengalami kerusakan hutan pada masa kehamilannya memiliki risiko kematian yang lebih tinggi ketimbang anak-anak berikutnya.

Di Kamboja, Pienkowski (2018) meneliti bahwa kerusakan hutan mengakibatkan naiknya diare, demam, dan infeksi saluran pernapasan—penyebab kematian anak balita.

Tak hanya di sekitar hutan, masyarakat di kota pun terdampak.

Secara global, berdasarkan laporan Pollution and Health Metrics oleh Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (2019), polusi akibat industrialisasi dan urbanisasi membunuh 5,3 juta manusia setiap tahun. Di Indonesia, pencemaran udara, air, tanah, dan berbagai bentuk polusi lain diperkirakan membunuh 230.000 orang setiap tahun. Angka ini jauh melebihi korban tsunami mahadahsyat pada 2004 yang masih lekat di ingatan kita. Dan, polusi terus terjadi dari tahun ke tahun.

Protokol Kesehatan

Kenormalan baru berbicara tentang mengadopsi kebiasaan baru demi kehidupan yang aman dan sehat. Melakukan 3M (memakai masker, menjaga jarak, dan mencuci tangan), serta menghindari 3R (ruangan tertutup, ramai-ramai, dan rumpi jarak dekat) amat penting demi mencegah penularan Covid-19.

Namun, apakah protokol ini cukup untuk menciptakan masa depan yang aman dan sehat? Apakah protokol ini dapat mencegah berulangnya pandemi semacam Covid-19.

Kesehatan kita bergantung tak hanya pada kuatnya sistem pelayanan kesehatan. Dalam bukunya A Call To Be Whole: The Fundamentals of Healthcare Reform, Sowada (2003) menerangkan bahwa pelayanan medis sebenarnya hanya berkontribusi 20 persen pada kesehatan manusia. Lebih dari separuh (55 persen), faktor yang berkontribusi pada kesehatan kita justru berasal dari lingkungan dan sosial, termasuk udara yang kita hirup, air yang kita minum, makanan yang kita makan, dan dukungan orang-orang di sekitar kita.

Sisanya adalah faktor perilaku dan genetik. Oleh karena itu, kesehatan manusia sebetulnya bukan hanya urusan sektor kesehatan semata. Malah ada ungkapan yang berkata bahwa kesehatan itu terlalu penting untuk diserahkan hanya kepada dokter.

Hikmah hijau Covid-19

Covid-19 dimulai dengan interaksi yang tidak seimbang antara manusia dan alam yang kemudian tersebar oleh keterkaitan global. Kini kita tak mungkin lupa bahwa jarak wabah dari kehidupan kita itu hanya sejauh satu penerbangan.

Dengan 40.000 koneksi penerbangan di seluruh dunia, kejadian di satu pelosok mana pun bisa menyebar ke semua penjuru bumi dalam sekejap. Dan, wabah tidak mengenal batas administrasi, pilihan politik, agama, ataupun ras. Kita semua saling terhubung dan setiap kita bisa terdampak.

Covid-19 adalah satu gejala dari bumi yang sedang sakit. Obatnya, setiap kita perlu berusaha untuk hidup seimbang dengan alam. Pada kenormalan baru, faktor lingkungan perlu menjadi pertimbangan dalam setiap keputusan—kecil ataupun besar—yang kita ambil, baik secara individu maupun kolektif, di tingkat institusi, daerah, nasional, hingga global. Perambahan hutan ilegal dan perdagangan satwa liar harus berhenti, demi mencegah berulangnya pandemi. Biarkan yang liar tetap hidup di alam liar.

Dengan Covid-19, umat manusia dipaksa berhenti sejenak untuk merenung dan mengambil hikmah. Demi masa depan yang aman dan sehat bagi kita dan anak cucu kita, hidup seimbang dengan alam perlu menjadi ”protokol kesehatan” kita pada era kenormalan baru. Mungkinkah Covid-19 adalah kesempatan yang Tuhan berikan kepada umat manusia untuk mengasihi alam sebelum terlambat?

Monica Nirmala

Alumnus Harvard University, Cendekia Fulbright; Senior Public Health Adviser di Yayasan Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), Kalimantan Barat


Raksasa Sawit Indonesia Diam-diam Dukung Praktik Pro-Deforestasi Lewat RUU Cipta Kerja

Raksasa Sawit Indonesia Diam-diam Dukung Praktik Pro-Deforestasi Lewat RUU Cipta Kerja

MINYAK KELAPA SAWIT

Industri kelapa sawit Indonesia serta para pembelinya yang tersebar di berbagai belahan dunia harus segera mendesak Presiden Joko Widodo dan anggota Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Indonesia (DPR RI) untuk menghentikan pembahasan mengenai ketentuan stimulus perekonomian yang terkandung dalam “RUU Cipta Kerja”. Kebijakan ini berpotensi memperburuk situasi deforestasi[1] di Indonesia dan menghapus serangkaian keberhasilan[2] yang telah diraih dalam upaya pencegahan hilangnya kawasan hutan (deforestasi) yang sebagian besar didorong oleh diterapkannya praktik produksi minyak sawit yang lebih bertanggung jawab.

“RUU ini menimbulkan ancaman besar bagi hutan Indonesia dan berisiko menyebabkan kerugian ekonomi yang tak terhingga bagi industri minyak sawit setempat – sebuah industri yang keberhasilannya bergantung pada pemenuhan ekspektasi produksi untuk pasar internasional,” kata Direktur Kampanye Senior Mighty Earth, Phelim Kine. “Para petinggi perusahaan minyak sawit raksasa harus menjelaskan kepada masyarakat luas bahwa RUU ini menghancurkan semua kemajuan yang telah mereka raih dalam menurunkan tingkat deforestasi terkait produksi minyak sawit serta mampu menyebabkan kemunduran yang signifikan bagi industri tersebut.”

Beragam kemajuan yang telah dicapai oleh industri kelapa sawit dalam mengurangi tingkat deforestasi dan perusakan lahan gambut di Indonesia – tak lain berkat tekanan dan keterlibatan dari pembeli, pemodal, kelompok masyarakat sipil, masyarakat adat dan komunitas yang berjuang di garis depan – menjadi titik terang dalam upaya mengatasi tren deforestasi global yang kini tengah berlangsung.

Setidaknya 83% kilang minyak sawit[3] di Indonesia dan Malaysia telah menyatakan komitmennya untuk mengimplementasi kebijakan “Tanpa Deforestasi, Tanpa Gambut dan Tanpa Eksploitasi” (NDPE). Ini merupakan peningkatan yang sangat baik, mengingat pada bulan November 2017 lalu, baru 74% kilang di kedua negara tersebut yang mengemukakan komitmen mereka. Meskipun belum dijalani sepenuhnya, komitmen ini telah menyebabkan penurunan laju deforestasi[4] terkait minyak sawit di Indonesia dari satu juta hektar per tahun menjadi kurang dari 250.000 hektar dalam kurun waktu tiga tahun terakhir. Berdasarkan kajian[5] organisasi pemantau hutan nonpemerintah Global Forest Watch, angka deforestasi di Indonesia telah menyusut ke tingkat terendah sejak tahun 2003.

Akan tetapi, semua pencapaian tersebut akan sia-sia jika DPR RI menyetujui RUU Omnibus sebelum berakhirnya masa jabatan legislatif periode ini yang jatuh pada tanggal 9 Oktober 2020.[6]

Menurut para analis, RUU tersebut mengandung sejumlah ketentuan yang diprediksi akan memperburuk tingkat deforestasi di Indonesia dan mengakibatkan rusaknya reputasi sektor minyak sawit secara internasional. Kajian dari Lembaga Swadaya Masyarakat (LSM) asal Indonesia Madani juga memastikan bahwa RUU tersebut akan melemahkan perlindungan hukum untuk hutan alam di Indonesia dan berpotensi menyebabkan bencana berskala besar[7], termasuk kerusakan signifikan[8] terhadap tutupan hutan alam di provinsi Riau, Jambi, Sumatera Selatan, Bangka Belitung dan Jawa Tengah dalam dua hingga tiga dekade mendatang.

Sejumlah ketentuan yang dinilai bermasalah dalam RUU Cipta Kerja tersebut meliputi:

  • Dilonggarkannya persyaratan untuk melakukan peninjauan dampak lingkungan dari proyek industri dan agribisnis.
  • Diperkuatnya wewenang pemerintah pusat untuk menyetujui bisnis dan investasi di kawasan hutan dan lahan gambut yang telah ditunjuk secara resmi – meskipun saat ini tengah diberlakukan moratorium deforestasi di kawasan-kawasan tersebut.
  • Dihapusnya persyaratan yang mewajibkan setiap provinsi untuk mengalokasikan dan mempertahankan setidaknya 30% dari keseluruhan lahan milik provinsi tersebut sebagai tutupan hutan, dan sebaliknya malah mengizinkan masing-masing pemerintah provinsi untuk menetapkan standar mereka sendiri “secara proporsional”.
  • Dihilangkannya tanggung jawab dan kewajiban hukum yang berlaku ketat bagi setiap perusahaan yang di areal konsesinya terjadi karhutla (kebakaran lahan dan hutan). Regulasi ini berperan sebagai insentif utama bagi perusahaan-perusahaan tersebut untuk mencegah dan memadamkan kebakaran yang mungkin terjadi serta menahan diri untuk tidak membakar lahan milik mereka sendiri.

Pemerintah Indonesia yang dipimpin oleh Presiden Jokowi telah membenarkan bahwa ketentuan-ketentuan tersebut – yang mencakup penyisipan 174 pasal baru ke dalam 79 undang-undang yang mengatur bidang-bidang termasuk perpajakan, ketenagakerjaan, investasi dan lingkungan – merupakan instrumen penting untuk menciptakan lapangan kerja baru di tengah situasi pandemi virus Corona yang terjadi saat ini.

Ironisnya, ketentuan lingkungan yang bermasalah dalam RUU tersebut justru dapat memperburuk prospek ekonomi industri kelapa sawit. Importir utama minyak sawit seperti Uni Eropa dan Inggris saat ini tengah mempertimbangkan untuk memberlakukan standar lingkungan yang ketat perihal impor pertanian, termasuk juga minyak sawit. Penerapan kebijakan “Tanpa Deforestasi, Tanpa Lahan Gambut, Tanpa Eksploitasi” (NDPE) telah banyak membantu produsen minyak sawit di Indonesia memenuhi standar tersebut. Pengesahan RUU Cipta Kerja ini kemungkinan besar akan mengakibatkan melonjaknya praktik deforestasi yang dilakukan oleh produsen minyak sawit serta mencemari nama baik industri minyak sawit dan juga para pelanggannya. Unsur-unsur pro-deforestasi pada RUU tersebut juga dinilai mengabaikan moratorium pembukaan hutan untuk pembangunan perkebunan dan kayu yang ditetapkan secara permanen oleh Pemerintah Indonesia pada bulan Agustus 2019 lalu.

Terlepas dari reputasi dan ekonomi yang dipertaruhkan, perusahaan minyak sawit raksasa seperti Wilmar, Golden Agri, Musim Mas, Bunge, Sime Darby dan Louis Dreyfus dianggap gagal dalam menyuarakan keprihatinan mereka tentang RUU Cipta Kerja. Sementara itu, perusahaan produsen barang konsumen seperti Unilever dan Nestlé, yang telah berkomitmen pada kebijakan NDPE, juga tak bersuara mengenai pembahasan RUU tersebut.

Namun, tak semua perusahaan minyak sawit raksasa memilih diam dalam persoalan RUU tersebut. PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk, yang merupakan anak perusahaan konglomerat asal Inggris Jardine Matheson, telah menyatakan dukungannya terhadap RUU Cipta Kerja. Astra Agro Lestari adalah produsen minyak sawit terbesar kedua di Indonesia dan, melalui Wakil Presiden Direktur Joko Supriyono yang juga menjabat sebagai Ketua Gabungan Pengusaha Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (GAPKI), memiliki pengaruh yang sangat besar baik di sektor minyak sawit maupun pemerintah Indonesia.

Meskipun Astra telah menerapkan kebijakan Nol Deforestasi pada tahun 2015, pada Februari 2020, Supriyono menyatakan dirinya mendukung penuh RUU Cipta Kerja sebagai “solusi atas rumitnya perizinan di sektor kelapa sawit.” Supriyono menambahkan, “GAPKI harus menjadi bagian dari lahirnya Omnibus Law (RUU Cipta Kerja) dengan turut aktif berkontribusi di dalamnya. Ini tak lain demi kepentingan sektor sawit nasional.” Dengan menyatakan dukungannya tersebut, GAPKI, Supriyono dan Astra Agro Lestari telah mengabaikan dampak yang disebabkan oleh RUU Cipta Kerja terhadap kawasan hutan di Indonesia.

Sektor kelapa sawit harus segera menyadarkan pemerintah Indonesia akan bahaya yang ditimbulkan oleh RUU Cipta Kerja, terutama karena kajian dari pihak pemerintah sendiri mengenai substansi dan implikasi RUU tersebut dinilai belum memadai. Pada bulan Juli lalu, sebuah koalisi yang terdiri dari sejumlah kelompok lingkungan serta masyarakat sipil di Indonesia mengangkat kegagalan tersebut dalam surat publik yang ditujukan kepada pemodal domestik dan internasional. Dalam surat tersebut, mereka memperingatkan bahwa pengesahan RUU tersebut akan menyebabkan “hukum dan peraturan Indonesia yang berlaku tidak lagi mematuhi regulasi pengamanan lingkungan dan sosial yang diakui secara global. ”

Sektor minyak sawit memiliki peluang besar untuk mencegah dampak ekonomi dan lingkungan jangka panjang yang ditimbulkan oleh RUU tersebut dengan mengambil langkah-langkah berikut:

  • Segera menyampaikan keprihatinannya atas unsur-unsur RUU yang dianggap merusak agenda konservasi hutan dan HAM kepada Presiden Jokowi dan DPR RI
  • Mendesak Pemerintah untuk menghentikan proses pembahasan RUU tersebut hingga konsultasi yang memadai telah dilakukan dengan kelompok lingkungan dan masyarakat sipil
  • Mengadvokasi kebijakan lingkungan dan pertanian yang mendorong pertumbuhan ekonomi serta melestarikan hutan dan lahan gambut dan mengakui hak tanah masyarakat adat

***

Informasi lebih lanjut hubungi :

Image Dynamics

Ayunda Putri

[email protected]

[1] https://news.mongabay.com/2020/08/indonesia-omnibus-deregulation-bill-pass-october/

[2] https://chainreactionresearch.com/the-chain-main-southeast-asian-deforesters-of-2019-still-supplying-the-ndpe-market/

[3] https://chainreactionresearch.com/report/ndpe-policies-cover-83-of-palm-oil-refineries-implementation-at-75/#:~:text=Key%20Findings,capacity%20in%20Indonesia%20and%20Malaysia.&text=The%20increase%20is%20the%20result,coverage%20falls%20to%2078%20percent.

[4] https://chainreactionresearch.com/the-chain-main-southeast-asian-deforesters-of-2019-still-supplying-the-ndpe-market/

[5] https://www.wri.org/blog/2019/04/world-lost-belgium-sized-area-primary-rainforests-last-year

[6] https://news.mongabay.com/2020/08/indonesia-omnibus-deregulation-bill-pass-october/

[7] https://madaniberkelanjutan.id/2020/05/06/tinjauan-risiko-ruu-cipta-kerja-terhadap-hutan-alam-dan-pencapaian-komitmen-iklim-indonesia

[8] https://madaniberkelanjutan.id/2020/05/22/job-creation-bill-covid-19-and-indonesias-climate-commitment


Can Agroforestry Provide a Lifeline for Struggling Rubber Farmers and Threatened Forests?

Rubber trees in Hat Yai, Thailand, Photo by Wutiporn Pakdi (นายวุฒิพร ภักดี) 

Climate disruption: an existential threat for smallholder farmers 

Amidst the horror and uncertainty of a pandemic, the climate disaster is still unfolding and it effects are being felt around the world.

Climate change is happening, and its impacts are experienced around the world at various tempos. The frequency and intensity of fires, severe storms, heat waves, and floods are accelerating. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center tweeted that "every month of 2020 has either been the warmest or second warmest on record across the globe.” This faceless menace of climate change has become a personal threat to people living in vulnerable front-line communities disproportionately burdened with its impacts on their livelihoods and well-being.  

Perhaps foremost among these often-forgotten individuals at the sharp end of a changing climate are small family farmers, or smallholders. For them, agriculture is not only their main source of income, but also of their food security. As a warming atmosphere intensifies the world’s weather patterns, it also wreaks havoc on soils and crops, creating a truly existential crisis for millions of smallholder households around the world who rely on their environments to make a living  

One part of the world where this threat is exemplified is in the Greater Mekong; a region that includes southern China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. For millions of smallholders in this region, changing climatic patterns are profoundly impacting the cultivation of traditional food and cash crops, to the extent that their very viability is at stake  

Risky rubber 

Among the most threatened of these cash crops is natural rubber, which is derived from latex tapped from the tree speciesHevea brasiliensis. Rubber farmers produce around eighty-five percent of the world’s natural rubber through their small, family-run enterprises whose land holdings commonly cover no more than a few hectares, with the rest grown on industrial plantations.¹  Around ninety percent of rubber is grown in Asia, with an increasing amount coming from the Mekong region. Only until recently, World Agroforestry reported rubber as the most rapidly expanding tree crops within mainland Southeast Asia.² Farmers and their families in the region face the brunt of human-induced climate disruption because they depend directly on the environment for their survival. Many will suffer through heat, floods and corrupt government policies and unfair industry practices, while others will feel compelled to change their crop completely or leave the land altogether to swell ranks of the region’s already overburdened mega-cities 

An Eco-Business article covered the climate change impacts Dr. Sara Bumrungsri, a rubber farmer and researcher, experienced on his land. He reported that, “In the last few years in southern Thailand, we have had no rain for 90 days. I have seen young rubber trees and trees that are over 10 years old dying. Intensifying wet and dry spells are destructive to farmers livelihoods; Dr. Bumrungsri observed that 5 percent of rubber trees in Southern Thailand have died, consequently leading to farmers producing less yields and receiving significantly less income.² These vulnerabilities are compounded by the rubber sector being affected by a 40% drop in global prices since 2016, as well as quarantines and other restrictions during Covid-19 more recently.³ The projected losses in production also threaten the global natural rubber value chain. This includes but is not limited to the automobile and medical supply industries, which are facing supply shortages and are key in producing vehicle tires and latex gloves from this raw material. Yet, while large global companies can absorb these economic shocks, smallholder households are much less able to do so. 

Agroforestry: a pathway to resilience  

In order to survive, the agricultural practices adopted by smallholder rubber producers in the Mekong region (and beyond) will need to become resilient to climate change. Rather than dealing with droughts and floods as they come, farmers may now have to respond to climatic changes proactively, in ways that will alter the way they farm irrevocably. Farmers urgently need innovations that will allow them to produce enough to support themselves and provide industry with a sustainable supply of agricultural raw materials for an ever-growing global demand of products 

As demand and interest grows in sustainable natural rubber, Mighty Earth, is working hard to ensure there are industry-wide solutions that can help to reduce and eliminate deforestation - a direct contributor to climate change - while enhancing the livelihoods of rubber farmers along these supply chains.  

One such solution – or rather, set of solutions – are agroforestry systems. Put simply, agroforestry involves the cultivation of trees alongside other crops, or with livestock. There are numerous different types of agroforestry systems, which provide an array of agroecological benefits. Agroforestry commonly increases on-farm biodiversity, strengthens soil composition, provides microclimatic control, and reduces damage from pests and diseases that attack crops, including those that affect tree crops such as rubber Because they more closely mimic natural ecosystems – and because they tend to be more effective at protecting soil structure and moisture retention – agroforestry systems also tend to be more resilient to extreme weather events.  

Rubber Agroforestry Farm in Thailand, Photo by Mighty Earth 

Agroforestry also has important socioeconomic benefits. Long before monoculture practices replaced traditional rubber cultivation systems, integrated farming methods provided both an environmental and economic opportunity for smallholders; cultivating multiple crops alongside rubber trees allowed for more sources of income and higher land productivity. Smallholder farmers, most of whom live with a high degree of financial uncertainty, can diversify their household incomes from agroforestry by diversifying their products.4 This spreads risk temporally across seasons and reduces reliance on income from a single commodity – a critical benefit in the case of rubber, which goes through cycles of price peaks and troughs. The rediscovery of these traditional principles, coupled with the application of scientific understandings of how different tree-crop (and tree-livestock) create particular agroecological synergies, means that agroforestry is now undergoing a resurgence of interest, in an era when its benefits may be most keenly felt. 

Smallholders cannot do this alone. In order to secure rubber farmers labour rights and livelihoods when shifting from monoculture towards a more sustainable integrative farming method, financial and technical support is needed. Other stakeholders, such as governments and rubber-dependent firms can support farmers by adopting sustainability policies and actively implementing them by supporting farmers and the uptake of agroforestry as a solution. Further, governments can create clearer language to secure the land tenure rights of smallholders which will encourage and enable farmers to adopt more long-term sustainability initiatives, like agroforestry, on their own.  

The Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) was established to develop and maintain sustainable natural rubber standards in the industry. Among the platform’s list of stakeholders are the world’s largest tire companies, rubber manufacturers and processors, and other users who ultimately have the most power in driving the direction of whether natural rubber production standards will remain stagnant or more towards truly sustainable and ethical solutions that will benefit the entire value chain. Agroforestry is more than adopting a policy: It’s an ethos that encourages a climate-resilient, socially equitable supply chain. If GPSNR and other multi-stakeholder platforms are promoting to protect ecosystems and human rights, then advocating for those heavily affected by climate change – particularly farmers- must become a more urgent priority.  

The time is now for farmers and industries to work together to reduce irreversible risks and losses set by climate change. Agroforestry is a step closer to a sustainable transformation in the natural rubber sector.
 

Sources  

¹Zengkun, F. (2020, April 15). Smallholder farmers: If you want to save forests, pay more for sustainable rubber. Retrieved August 18, 2020, from https://www.eco-business.com/news/smallholder-farmers-if-you-want-to-save-forests-pay-more-for-sustainable-rubber/ 

²Chin, N. (2020, February 03). Drought, deluge, disease: How should the natural rubber industry respond to climate change? Retrieved August 18, 2020, from https://www.eco-business.com/news/drought-deluge-disease-how-should-the-natural-rubber-industry-respond-to-climate-change/ 

³Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Natural Rubber Smallholders. (2020, April 29). Retrieved August 18, 2020, from https://gpsnr.org/news-publications/addressing-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-natural-rubber-smallholders 

4Joshi, Laxman & Wibawa, Gede & Akiefnawati, Ratna & Mulyoutami, Elok & Wulandari, Diah & Penot, Eric. (2006). Diversified rubber agroforestry for smallholder farmers – a better alternative to monoculture. 


Ranking Soy Traders' Performance on Deforestation

Soy production in Brazil continues to be a major driver of deforestation and land conversion. In 2018 alone, over 2.9 million hectares of deforestation were cleared – an area the size of Albania - of which over 60 percent was due to commodity production. Within the soy industry, only a handful of traders dominate the industry with six companies accounting for over half of all soy exports. Moreover, none of the largest traders have successfully implemented zero deforestation or zero conversion supply chains, continuing to contribute to the mounting land conversion in Brazil.

Mighty Earth's new report examines the sustainability policies and performance of six of the largest soy traders (Louis Dreyfus Company, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, Amaggi, COFCO International, Cargill, and Bunge) to determine which traders have the most – and least – land impacts and land rights violations in their supply chain. The analysis is intended to illustrate to buyers, including consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, that certain traders offer less risk and less environmental and social impacts compared to their peers.

Compared to the worst performing traders, their better performing peers are viable alternatives to which buyers can transfer their contracts in order to avoid being complicit in widespread ecological destruction and land grabbing at the expense of local and Indigenous communities.

Read the full report here.

Overall Scores


#Together4Forests

The Amazon is burning again. Grasslands are being wiped out to make way for cattle and soy. Inadvertently, Europeans are fueling deforestation across the world with the products they buy in Europe.

Europe needs strong laws to ensure corporations only sell deforestation-free products. And right now we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to curb deforestation. A new EU law on products linked to deforestation is within reach, and the European Commission is asking for your opinion.

Make your voice heard and tell the EU Commission corporations shouldn't be allowed to sell products that drive deforestation, destroying the homes of Indigenous communities and wildlife.

You can say No to destruction of nature with one click. Show your support by filling in your details in the form below and click on ACT NOW.


WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? 

Research reveals we are losing natural habitats at an alarming rate. Over the past decade, the Amazon has lost more than 8.4 million football fields worth of tree cover, and 10 million football fields of natural habitat has been lost in the Cerrado, the most biodiverse savannah in the world. The main driver is destructive agriculture for commodities such as soy used in animal feed, palm oil, livestock, cocoa and more. These ingredients are hidden on our supermarket shelves, and very hard to avoid. 

The EU must play a leading role in the protection of the world's forests and other ecosystems. If we don’t stop deforestation, forest degradation or the conversion and degradation of other ecosystems, we might lose our fight against climate change and biodiversity collapse. You can help change this!

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? 

Deforestation and land destruction are complex problems in which we are all wittingly or unwittingly involved in. Since currently, the European Union does not stop products linked to the destruction of nature from entering the EU market, these can then end up on our supermarket shelves and our plates. Palm oil is an ingredient of many of our processed foods and cosmetic products, while soy is fed to the animals raised for our local meat and dairy products. We are literally eating up our forests without even knowing it. 

The EU is a top importer of palm oil and soy, but also other commodities that drive deforestation like beef from livestock farming in the Amazon, coffee and cocoa. We do not want to ban these products - we want to make sure they are produced sustainably, but to do this we need a strong EU law. You can help. 

 

WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?

Consumers deserve certainty that their food choices do not inadvertently contribute to  deforestation, ecosystem conversion and land degradation. A strong law that stops products linked to deforestation and ecosystem degradation from entering the EU market by the end of 2021 can achieve this. Such a law would have a massive impact, and it is now being discussed in Brussels. It is within reach, but we need your help to make it happen! 

Act NOW #Together4Forests: ask the European Commission to protect our future!


How Pressuring Corporations Can Save the Amazon from Destruction

As the Amazon undergoes another wave of deforestation, a blueprint for halting the runaway exploitation can be found in Southeast Asia, where pressure campaigns on companies and improved government monitoring are finally slowing the devastation caused by the palm oil industry.

Mighty Earth's CEO Glenn Hurowitz discussed this finding in an opinion piece for Yale E360:

As severe and sweeping in impact as the Amazon deforestation crisis is, it is also avoidable. Lessons from half a world away show us that it is possible to transform private industry and improve governance to dramatically reduce deforestation.

In Southeast Asia, the palm oil industry’s environmental notoriety is well-deserved. In just a few decades, it has burned and bulldozed more than 30,000 square miles of the region’s forests and replaced them with monoculture plantations in order to make cheap vegetable oil, soap, and biofuels. In the oil-palm-growing heartland in Indonesia and Malaysia, you can fly in a jet several miles up in the air, look out your window, and see nothing other than oil palms stretching to the horizon in what was once orangutan and tiger habitat. For many, this deforestation is a lot more than a statistic: It represents dozens of Indigenous communities dispossessed of their lands and their livelihoods.

However, despite important remaining challenges and risks, an analysis by the nonprofit, Chain Reaction Research, shows that deforestation for palm oil has plummeted from a million acres per year to fewer than 250,000 acres in each of the past three years. While that is still way too much, it is a remarkable decline.

Read the full piece at Yale Environment 360.


Revealed: Newly-discovered orangutan species is 'being driven to extinction' by British firm's goldmine

The latest on the fight to save the Tapanuli orangutan:

The Tapanuli orangutan, which is the rarest great ape in the world, was discovered by scientists in 2017, the first great ape to be discovered for a century. It only lives in the Batangtoru Forest, in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, and there are just 800 of the charismatic primates left.

Unfortunately for the great ape and those trying to protect it, its only habitat sits on top of a rich seam of gold - which is currently being mined by a British company. Environment minister Lord Goldsmith has said the company has a "moral obligation" to stop degrading the environment.

The business, Jardine Matheson, which has been run by the same British family, the Keswicks, since the Victorian era, bought the Martabe gold mine in 2018 through a subsidiary called Astra International. They have expanded it further into the habitat of the orangutan ever since. Based in Hong Kong, and domiciled in Bermuda, Jardine Matheson has business interests across the globe and owns the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain.

Read the full piece in The Telegraph, featuring research from Mighty Earth and MapHubs.


After Blockbuster Report, Costco, Stop & Shop, and Carrefour Must Cancel Contracts with JBS

A new report by the financial sustainability analysts Chain Reaction Research conservatively estimates that JBS’ total deforestation footprint may be as high as 200,000 ha in its direct supply chain and 1.5 million ha in its indirect supply chain. Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz released the following statement in response:

"This blockbuster report makes it clear that there is no longer any ethical justification for doing business with JBS. With as much as 1.7 million hectares of deforestation in its supply chain over the past 12 years – an area larger than the state of Connecticut, and the vast majority coming from its completely unmonitored indirect supply chain – JBS is a menace to our planet and the Indigenous peoples for whom these forests are home. Supermarkets have been politely asking JBS to change for more than a decade, but the forests keep burning. These retailers must put excuses aside and take action now, because their own customers are increasingly refusing to buy goods linked to environmental destruction.

"Costco, Stop & Shop, Carrefour, and any retailer that claims to care about sustainability or climate change has only one option: drop JBS now."


Studie: Europäische Supermarktketten treiben die Zerstörung des Amazonas-Regenwalds voran

Europäische Supermarktkonzerne wie Metro, Ahold Delhaize, Casino und andere wurden mit der Umweltzerstörung und der klimaverändernden Abholzung von Wäldern in Südamerika in Verbindung gebracht. Eine kürzlich in der Zeitschrift Science veröffentlichte und begutachtete Analyse zeigt, dass ein Fünftel der brasilianischen Sojaexporte in die EU mit illegaler Abholzung in Verbindung gebracht werden könnte. Alex Armstrong, der Senior Director von Mighty Earth, veröffentlichte daraufhin die folgende Erklärung:

„Eine vor kurzem in Science durchgeführte Studie zeigt deutlich, dass Supermärkte und andere Lebensmittelanbieter in Europa die ökologische Zerstörung Lateinamerikas, vom amazonischen Regenwald bis zum Cerrado, vorantreiben. Allein 22 Prozent des von Brasilien nach Europa exportierten Sojas sind das Ergebnis illegaler Abholzung, wobei noch größere Mengen von legal gerodeten Flächen stammen.

„Allerdings ist aufschlussreich, dass der Großteil der Zerstörung von einigen wenigen Akteuren verursacht wird. Die Forscher fanden heraus, dass nur zwei Prozent der Landwirtschaftsbetriebe für satte 62 Prozent der Entwaldung verantwortlich waren. Das bedeutet, dass die europäischen Supermärkte in der Verantwortung stehen, den Einkauf bei diesen schuldigen Unternehmen zu stoppen.

„Einer dieser Brennpunkte ist die Gemeinde Formosa do Rio Preto, die laut Trase das von den nach Europa exportierenden Gebieten das mit dem größten Entwaldungsrisiko ist. Über fünfzig Prozent der Exporte aus diesem Gebiet gehen allein auf das Konto von Bunge, während Frankreich und Deutschland fast ein Drittel des Marktes für diese risikoreiche Sojabohne abdecken.

„Ahold Delhaize, Casino, Metro und andere müssen die Verträge mit den Unternehmen, welche die Zerstörung des Amazonas-Regenwalds vorantreiben, sofort kündigen oder neu verhandeln.“

(Lesen Sie auf Englisch)


Greening the New Normal

Greening the New Normal

By Monica Nirmala

What’s good for nature is good for us. What hurts nature, brings disease to us. The novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is thought to have come from wildlife. In a few months, Covid-19 has infected more than 14 million people, killed more than 600,000, and devastated the world economy. Could it be that Covid-19 is actually the result of human activity disturbing the balance of nature which then threatens to threaten the safety of all of us?

Researchers are probing the origins of Covid-19 by studying the genetics of the virus. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is thought to have originated in bats. Bats and coronaviruses have actually co-existed for millions of years. The novel coronavirus is harmless to bats, but can become fatal when it manages to “jump” into other species. In the case of Covid-19, the coronavirus is thought to have jumped from bats to pangolins (as intermediate hosts) and then managed to jump to humans.

Zoonoses — diseases in humans of animal origin —do not self-generate. Bats or pangolins don’t suddenly naturally appear in human settlements and then transmit the virus. Instead, zoonoses emerge because of human activity – hunting, destruction of wildlife habitats, and the illegal trade and consumption of wildlife.

The nongovernmental organization TRAFFIC which combats the illegal wildlife trade reported that Indonesia was the world’s largest supplier (83 percent) of the world’s illegal pangolin trade from 2010 to 2015. TRAFFIC estimates that trade involved the of up to 10,000 pangolins annually. Could it be that some of the wildlife traded in the wet market in Wuhan – the acknowledged ground zero of what subsequently became the coronavirus pandemic – originated in Indonesia?

Covid-19 may be the worst deadly zoonotic illness humanity has encountered in the past century, but it’s not the first. Over the last 40 years, a combination of shrinking animal habitats, rising human populations, contamination of food and water sources, and various other factors have helped spawn a succession of outbreaks of deadly zoonotic illnesses including SARS, Ebola, HIV-AIDs and MERS. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in its Preventing the Next Pandemic (2020) report warns that 75 percent of new emerging infectious diseases originate from animals.

Not Only Zoonoses

Apart from Covid-19, there are many other examples of how human destruction of natural habitats harms human health. For example, the people of Borneo believe that when forests are cleared, disease will arise, such as plague. Scientists have proven the veracity of that Bornean belief.

Scientist Garg (2017) proved that a one percent reduction in forest cover in Indonesia increased incidence of malaria by 10 percent. In fact, Chakrabarti (2018) shows that in Indonesia, the firstborn children of forest dwelling mothers whose environment is damaged during pregnancy have a higher risk of death than subsequent children.In Cambodia, Pienkowski (2018) observed that forest destruction has resulted in increased incidence of  diarrhea, fever and respiratory infections – the main causes of death for children under five in that country.

Destruction of forest habitat also affects the health of city dwellers. Globally, based on the Pollution and Health Metrics report by the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (2019), pollution due to industrialization and urbanization kills 5.3 million people every year. In Indonesia, pollution of air, water, land and various other forms of pollution is estimated to kill 230,000 people every year. This figure far exceeds the victims of the devastating 2004 tsunami in 2004.

Health protocols

The new normal speaks of adopting new habits for a safe and healthy life. Doing 3M (wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and washing your hands), and avoiding 3Rs (closed rooms, crowded, and close talk) are very important to prevent Covid-19 transmission.

However, is this protocol enough to create a safe and healthy future? Can this protocol prevent a recurrence of a pandemic such as Covid-19? Our health depends not only on a strong health care system. In his book A Call to Be Whole: The Fundamentals of Healthcare Reform, Sowada (2003) explains that medical services actually only contribute 20 percent to human health. More than half (55 percent) of the factors that contribute to our health come from the environment and society, including the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the support of those around us.

The rest are behavioral and genetic factors. Therefore, human health is not only a matter for the health sector. In fact, there is a saying that health is too important to be left only to doctors.

Covid-19 Green Wisdom

The spread of the novel coronavirus and Covid-19 began with an unbalanced interaction between humans and nature which was then spread by global linkages. Now we must not forget that plagues can be only one flight away from us.

With 40,000 flight connections worldwide, events anywhere in the world can rapidly spread to all corners of the globe. And plagues knows no boundaries of administration, political choice, religion, or race. We are all connected to each other and each of us can be impacted.

Covid-19 is a symptom of a sick earth. The remedy is that each of us needs to try to live in balance with nature. In the new normal, environmental factors need to be taken into account in every decision – small or large – that we take, either individually or collectively, at the institutional, regional, national, and global levels. Illegal forest encroachment and wildlife trade must stop, in order to prevent a recurrence of the pandemic. Let the wild live in the wild.

With Covid-19, humanity has been forced to pause to reflect and take lessons. For a safe and healthy future for us and our children and grandchildren, living in balance with nature needs to become our “health protocol” in the new era of normality. Could it be that Covid-19 is an opportunity that God gave mankind to love nature before it’s too late?

Monica Nirmala
Harvard University alumnus, Fulbright Scholar; Senior Public Health Adviser at Yayasan Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), West Kalimantan


Dam Threatening Extinction of Tapanuli Orangutans Delayed at Least Three Years

The world’s rarest and most recently discovered great ape species received good news when North Sumatra Hydro Energy requested a three-year delay in the construction of the Batang Toru dam project in North Sumatra. The project came under intense scrutiny in Indonesia and around the world for threatening the survival of the Tapanuli orangutan, which was just identified in 2017, and has a population of fewer than 800.

The announcement of the delay follows Mighty Earth’s successful work with allies around the world to persuade the Bank of China to withdraw financing from the project.

In March of 2019, the Bank of China said it had “noted the concerns expressed by some environmental organizations” and promised to carefully review the project. Although Bank of China has not issued any further public statements, privately, representatives of the Bank have confirmed on numerous occasions that they will not fund the project.

Another partner in the hydroelectric scheme, the Indonesian state-owned utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), publicly confirmed in July of 2020 that the Bank of China has withdrawn its funding of the project.

Muhammad Ikhsan Asaad, who oversees the project for state-owned utility PLN, said the Batang Toru plant was supposed to start operating in 2022, based on the agreement between PLN and project developer PT North Sumatra Hydro Eenergy (NHSE).

“But it might be delayed to 2025, mainly because the drawdown from lender Bank of China is stopped due to environmental concerns as well as COVID-19,” he said.

The Bank of China’s withdrawal from the project follows that of other international lenders like the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group), Goldman Sachs, the Asian Development Bank, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, who have all distanced themselves from the pariah project.

PLN officially announced the delay at a hearing in June of 2020, citing environmental campaigning as a reason for the delay.

"It is true that this is hampered by protests from NGOs related to environmental issues, the presence of monkeys, and others there. We have received requests for a 3-year development delay due to COVID-19," PLN's Managing Director, Zulkifli Zaini, said at the DPR Commission VII Hearing Meeting, Jakarta, Wednesday (6/17/20).

The dam project raised concerns about the risks of splitting the Tapanuli orangutan population into groups too small to survive - in the face of an electricity gut that renders the project economically dubious - the COVID-19 pandemic has led to falling demand for electricity shooting further holes in the already dubious rationale for the venture.

Falling demand for electricity during the pandemic has also affected the development of the project, according to Hydropower Plant Developers Association (APPLTA) chairman Riza Husni. Riza said on Thursday that PLN’s move to cut the demand projection for electricity during the pandemic has impacted hydropower players’ plans to develop 5,000 MW worth of new plants in Indonesia. “All of them haven’t begun development,” said Riza.

With COVID-19 also leading to shortages of workers - especially those being brought in by the project’s Chinese contractor, Sinohydro - this halt in construction is an opportunity for the government of Indonesia to heed the calls of the International Union for Conservation of Nature to officially stop development, allowing an independent and objective assessment to be conducted on the risks of development in Tapanuli orangutan habitat.


Protests Push Costco, Stop & Shop to Cut Ties With Forest-Destroying Suppliers Cargill and JBS

Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz released the following statement in response to widespread protests calling on Costco, Stop & Shop, and other supermarkets to cut ties with Cargill and JBS, two agribusiness giants driving the destruction of forests around the world:

"The tides are turning against the arsonists of the Amazon.

"We recently learned that Nordea Asset Management, northern Europe’s largest financial services group, has dropped JBS from its investment portfolio over concerns about the company’s complicity in deforestation in Latin America. In recent months, both Nestlé and Grieg Seafood have taken similar actions against Cargill. And yesterday, across North America and Europe, protesters took to the streets to stand up for the world’s rainforests and our climate.

"They donned masks and stood up to the companies that continue to deforest and degrade fragile ecosystems even as we spiral toward climate chaos. They stood up to a global agribusiness system that disregards the health and safety of Indigenous peoples and tramples on their rights in pursuit of new lands to bulldoze. These protesters stood up and said: we know who the villains are, and we demand that our local supermarkets – the places we rely on, the sellers we trust – stop doing business with them.

"We applaud their bravery for taking action responsibly in the midst of a global pandemic, and welcome this progress in the fight to decouple food production from environmental destruction.”

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Header Photo Credit: Linnea Henrikson


Study Shows Ahold Delhaize, Casino, Metro and Other European Supermarkets Are Driving Destruction of the Amazon

A new peer-reviewed analysis published in Science magazine shows that one-fifth of Brazil’s soy exports to the EU may be linked to illegal deforestation. Mighty Earth Senior Director Alex Armstrong released the following statement in response:

"A new study in Science clearly shows that supermarkets and other food suppliers in Europe are fueling the ecological destruction of Latin America, from the Amazon to the Cerrado. As much as 22 percent of the soy exported from Brazil to Europe is the result of illegal deforestation, with even greater amounts coming from legally cleared land.

"But, tellingly, the bulk of the destruction is coming from a few bad actors. The researchers found that only two percent of the farms accounted for a whopping 62 percent of the deforestation. That means that European supermarkets have a responsibility to stop purchasing from these guilty companies.

“One of these hotspots is the municipality Formosa do Rio Preto, the area with the most deforestation risk exporting to Europe according to Trase. Bunge alone is responsible for over fifty percent of exports from this area, while France and Germany account for nearly a third of the market for this risky soy.

"Ahold Delhaize, Casino, Metro, and others must immediately cancel or renegotiate contracts with the companies driving the destruction of the Amazon."


How the Sausage Gets Made

May 2020

Every year, the Danish meat giant Danish Crown produces huge amounts of pork from pigs fed with soy that has come from deforested areas in South America. This report from Rainforest Foundation Norway, Mighty Earth in the United States, and Forests of the World in Denmark charts the connection between Danish Crown’s soy imports and environmental destruction in South America.

Read here


Cargill Hides its Deforestation Impacts in Misleading Report

By: Asha Sharma

As yet another company distances itself from Cargill, the agribusiness giant has attempted to satiate its customers’ demands for reform with a new, deceptive report. Cargill’s 2020 Soy Progress Report Mid-Year Update touts the company’s progress mapping its Brazilian supply chain for soybeans and calculating the share of its soy grown on deforestation- and conversion-free land. However, an analysis by Mighty Earth mapping and supply chain experts has found that Cargill’s accounting methods are both grossly inaccurate and intentionally misleading.

Key problems we identified with the report are:

  • Overstating the percentage of Cargill soy that is deforestation and conversion free (DCF). Cargill claims that 95.68 percent of its soy volumes qualify, but uses data too vague and generic to actually attribute DCF sourcing to its farms. Independent reports from organizations like Trase have found Cargill to have the second highest deforestation risk in Brazil out of all soy exporters. Cargill cannot claim that any of their soy is deforestation-free until more improvements are made in their supply chain traceability, transparency and monitoring efforts.
  • Ignoring Critical Role of Cargill’s Indirect Suppliers. Cargill claims that is has mapped 100 percent of its suppliers. In truth, this statement covers only the company’s direct suppliers, which account for just 69 percent of the total supply chain. The information Cargill did collect about indirect suppliers only includes the “points of procurement,” i.e., where they bought the soy from. These locations can be silos or other aggregation points and are, in terms of monitoring for deforestation, entirely useless information.
  • Exaggerating the Accuracy of Cargill’s Mapping. Cargill admits in the report that it has only single-mapped the suppliers. Single-point mapping shows generally where a farm is located, but it is not useful information for a comprehensive monitoring effort. A single point on a map can hardly encapsulate the full scale of some of these soy plantations, which can stretch for thousands of kilometers. This style of mapping is therefore insufficient for making claims of being deforestation and conversion free. In order for a monitoring system to accurately track deforestation, it must document the full boundaries of properties for both direct and indirect suppliers in its supply chain.
  • Sweeping Other Important Issues Under the Rug. Cargill did not report on any other impacts of its deforestation, including illegal clearance, clearance on Indigenous and community lands, or use of fires – but the company is known to have impacts in all of these areas. Ignoring these issues does nothing to mitigate their destruction.

Cargill has long prioritized press releases and public relations strategies over tackling the thorny issues that have earned them the reputation as the “Worst Company in the World.” And while they dither, forests continue to burn. Supermarkets like Costco, Ahold Delhaize, and Casino must demand true accountability and action from Cargill or find another business partner, because people around the around the world expect better from the brands they trust.