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Líderes nacionales y organizaciones internacionales unen fuerzas en auxilio de los bosques bolivianos

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600 líderes de Bolivia que firmaron entre 2017 y 2021 El Pacto del Bosque reciben la adhesión de más de 20 organizaciones internacionales que coinciden en la necesidad de encontrar soluciones reales para frenar la alarmante deforestación en Bolivia (Informe Fundación para la Conservación del Bosque Chiquitano - FCBC), causa principal de los incendios forestales que arrasaron con 9,7 millones de hectáreas en el país (Informe Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza - FAN). El Bosque Seco Chiquitano localizado en el Departamento de Santa Cruz, el más grande del continente, ha sido severamente afectado por la deforestación ligada al desarrollo de actividades agropecuarias extensivas y el incremento en asentamientos irregulares (Deforestación Bajo Paraguá).

Las organizaciones internacionales Action for Bolivia, Birdlife International, Canopée – Forests Vivantes, Changing Markets, Comissão Pastoral da Terra - Brasil,  Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), Dogwood Alliance, Earthworm Foundation, Envol Vert, France Nature Environnement (FNE), Global Witness, Justice and Environment, National Wildlife Federation, Notre Affaire à Tous, NRDC, Mighty Earth, Rainforest Foundation USA, Reclaim Finance, Rights and Resources Initiative, Seattle Avocats, Tropenbos International y ZERO - Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável unen sus voces en auxilio de los bosques bolivianos adhiriéndose al Pacto del Bosque.

El Pacto del Bosque representa la profunda preocupación que tienen ante la deforestación, líderes de opinión y personalidades de reconocida de trayectoria en Bolivia, entre los que figuran: periodistas, historiadores, artistas, jóvenes independientes, ambientalistas, líderes de pueblos indígenas, políticos, empresarios, cívicos, científicos y académicos y constituye el respaldo a la Plataforma El Llamado del Bosque para buscar acuerdos, alianzas estratégicas y gestionar acciones para conservar el patrimonio natural del país.

Gina Méndez, fundadora de la iniciativa ciudadana El Llamado del Bosque, comentó: “Necesitamos industrias que oferten productos agropecuarios producidos de manera sostenible cuidando el equilibrio de los ecosistemas, dado que existe un mercado internacional emergente para estos commodities - libre de fuego y deforestación - que tienen alta demanda y rentabilidad. Es importante aprender de experiencias exitosas y acuerdos entre gobierno, industria y sociedad civil en Sudamérica que lograron detener la destrucción del patrimonio natural sin socavar el potencial productivo de los países agroexportadores.”

Existen experiencias exitosas de acuerdos entre gobierno, industria y sociedad civil en Sudamérica que lograron detener la destrucción del patrimonio natural sin socavar el potencial exportador de los países agroexportadores.

En el año 2006, las principales comercializadoras de soya de Brasil, el Gobierno brasileño y la sociedad civil firmaron un acuerdo para evitar la expansión de la soya en la selva amazónica y así conservar el pulmón del mundo. Gracias al acuerdo, el área ocupada por el cultivo de soya en la Amazonia brasileña se duplicó, de 1,35 a 3,65 millones de hectáreas (2008-2015), sin que esto haya significado más deforestación, en razón a que la producción se expandió en tierras ya desmontadas.

“Luego del apoyo masivo de personalidades importantes de la sociedad boliviana y el espaldarazo de organizaciones ambientalistas de Europa y Estados Unidos, invitamos públicamente a la industria agropecuaria del país, ANAPO, CAO y FEGASACRUZ, a que se unan a este diálogo abierto que busca una solución duradera para un problema común urgente: la destrucción entre otros, del Bosque Seco Chiquitano,” el bosque más grande y mejor conservado del continente, concluyó Gina Méndez.

Europa mira atenta a la producción agropecuaria responsable y libre de deforestación para satisfacer la creciente exigencia de sus consumidores.

“El apetito voraz del consumidor europeo está alimentando la destrucción de las selvas y bosques de Sudamérica. Sin embargo, gracias al trabajo de organizaciones de la sociedad civil, el ciudadano europeo es cada vez más consciente del impacto negativo de su consumo y está comenzado a exigir a supermercados y restaurantes productos libres de deforestación. Creemos que los sectores agrícolas y ganaderos en Bolivia tienen la oportunidad de producir sin devastar el Bosque Seco Chiquitano y otras áreas boscosas de gran biodiversidad,” subrayó Nico Muzi, director para Europa de la organización ambiental global Mighty Earth, representante de una de las organizaciones firmantes.


Bolivia leaders and international organizations join forces to rescue Bolivian forests

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Over the past five years, 600 civil society leaders and Bolivian organizations signed El Pacto del Bosque. Today they are joined by more than 20 international organizations that agree on the urgent need to find real solutions to stop the alarming deforestation rate in Bolivia (FCBC Report). Deforestation is the leading cause of the massive forest fires that ravaged more than 9 million hectares of protected national parks and forests in the Department of Santa Cruz between 2019 and 2020 (FAN Report). The Chiquitano Dry Forest, the largest tropical dry forest on the continent, has been severely affected by the deforestation linked to agriculture and cattle ranching and the increase in irregular human settlements.

Among the different international organizations endorsing El Pacto del Bosque are Action for Bolivia, Birdlife International, Canopée - Forets Vivantes, Changing Markets, Comissão Pastoral da Terra - Brasil, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), Dogwood Alliance, Earthworm Foundation, Envol Vert, France Nature Environnement (FNE), Global Witness, Justice and Environment, National Wildlife Federation, Notre Affaire à Tous, NRDC, Mighty Earth, Rainforest Foundation USA, Reclaim Finance, Rights and Resources Initiative, Seattle Avocats, Tropenbos International, and ZERO - Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável.

The alarming deforestation rate in Bolivia has raised the interest of well-known personalities, including journalists, historians, artists, environmentalists, indigenous leaders, businessmen, citizens, and scientists who have joined forces behind El Pacto del Bosque. This initiative is led by the grassroots organization El Llamado del Bosque, which urgently seeks to find agreements, build strategic alliances and engage in actions intended to conserve the country's natural heritage.

"We need industry to offer sustainable agricultural products that preserve fragile ecosystems. There’s a growing international market for these commodities, free of fires and deforestation, with high demand and high profit margins. It’s important to learn from successful examples of agreements between government, industry, and civil society in South America that have managed to stop the destruction of the country's natural heritage and biodiversity without undermining the country’s' agro-export potential," said Gina Méndez, founder of the organization El Llamado del Bosque.

In 2006, the leading soy traders in Brazil, the Brazilian government and civil society signed an agreement to prevent the expansion of soy production in the Amazon rainforest. This agreement allowed for the expansion of soybean cultivation, doubling from 1.35 to 3.65 million hectares (2008-2015), without causing further deforestation since production only expanded on to previously cleared land.

"With massive support from significant Bolivian stakeholders, and now with the ample support of environmental organizations in Europe and the United States, we publicly invite the country's soybean and cattle sector bodies, ANAPO, CAO and FEGASACRUZ, to join this open dialogue that seeks a long-lasting solution for an urgent problem: the destruction of the Chiquitano Dry Forest, the largest and best-conserved forest of the continent," concluded Méndez.

European companies are also beginning to closely monitor for responsible and deforestation-free agricultural production to meet the growing demand of its consumers.

"The voracious appetite of European consumers is fueling the destruction of the jungles and forests of South America. However, and thanks to the work of civil society organizations, European citizens are increasingly aware of the negative impacts of their consumption patterns. They are beginning to demand deforestation-free products from supermarkets and restaurants. We believe that Bolivian farmers and cattle ranchers have a unique opportunity to protect the Chiquitano Dry Forest and guarantee a deforestation-free production," said Nico Muzi, Europe Director of the global environmental organization Mighty Earth, one of the signatory organizations.


Retailer Scorecard 2021

Easter is one of the biggest chocolate buying seasons. Mighty Earth and the National Wildlife Federation in the USA and Be Slavery Free in the Netherlands and Australia; assessed retailers from around the world on their contribution to driving positive change in the chocolate and cocoa industry.  Brands and processors were ranked separately in an earlier release.

The retailers selected, 36 in all, are some of the largest and most influential in Europe and the UK, the US, Brazil, Australia/New Zealand, and other chocolate consuming countries. Those retailers selected for this ranking have a choice: they can either take a large toll on the farmers and ecosystems in cocoa growing regions around the world or make a big positive impact for people and the planet.

Retailers and supermarkets make the most money in the chocolate value chain-- taking at least 40% of the price consumers pay for a bar of chocolate. These super beneficiaries need to own their responsibility for the cocoa sector and not just for their own branded products but also for the procurement policies for the other chocolates products they stock.  The potential for a truly industry wide, farmer to consumer, sustainability movement exists.

But many of these retailers have thus far refused to engage in relevant ethical trade platforms such as the Retailer Cocoa Coalition or the Cocoa and Forest Initiative or opened up to engage more broadly with civil society on their cocoa supply chains.

Some of these same retailers have made progress with their commitment to sustainability in other commodities-- albeit spotty, but have been slow to extend such measures to cocoa.

Retailers like Rewe, Ahold Delhaize, Coop Switzerland, Sainsbury’s, Woolworths (Australia) Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord stand out when compared to their colleagues. Supermarkets in the US need to do much more to ensure the sustainability of their cocoa products they sell.

You can find the full methodology on the Retailer’s Easter Scorecard here.


Ivorian Ministry of Forest Pledges Progress on Joint Monitoring Program

In November 2017, the cocoa industry and the Government of Côte d'Ivoire pledged to halt deforestation caused by cocoa and "adopt a transparent satellite monitoring system whose results are independently validated and which provides an early warning of deforestation, quickly supplemented by field verification. This system [was] to be made available to the public immediately after the signing of the Common Framework for Action (CFA) so that all stakeholders can measure and monitor progress towards the overall deforestation target". Three years later, this has still not been achieved. 
 
It is in that context that Mighty Earth welcomes with great satisfaction the Ivorian Minister of Water and Forests' announcement, seconded by the President of the World Cocoa Foundation, of the rapid implementation of the long promised joint monitoring of deforestation and remedial measures. This announcement was made on February 25 during the last Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) steering committee in which the two senior officials took part, along with 66 other participants. Joint monitoring is one of the CFI’s major commitments, and Mighty Earth has constantly called for its effective implementation. The launch of the Cocoa Accountability Map in 2020, recently updated in February 2021, is precisely an attempt to remedy this shortcoming.