Chinese Soy Consumption Causes Deforestation in Latin America

first_imgIn 1995, China produced 14 million tons of soy, and consumed the same amount. In 2019, the country will produce 15 million tons, but is expected to consume 96 million tons. (Source: BBC Mundo. Image: Raúl Sánchez Azuara)deforestation of 223,000 hectares between 2013 and 2017, says the website The Brazilian Report. Forest reduction will increase as China resorts to Brazil to meet its demands. In turn, Brazil will have to deforest 25 to 57 times the total area estimated to meet the Asian demand for 2013 to 2017, CDP states.“The soy and livestock industries are destroying the Cerrado; they destroy the environment, worsen climate change, and displace and attack indigenous communities that have lived in the area for hundreds of years,” Rómulo Batista, member of Greenpeace Brazil, told the press. “The Cerrado is the world’s richest savanna in terms of wildlife.”“These companies are destroying the future of our children because they’re leading us to climate and ecological collapse,” said Anna Jones, Global Project lead for Forests at Greenpeace UK.The CDP report concludes that Chinese banks must identify and estimate the amount of financing connected to deforestation triggered by soy production. It also calls for financial institutions to implement four phases: understand the risks of deforestation; analyze the risk of deforestation; develop policies for forest risk management; and collaborate with companies to verify the enforcement of forest policies. By Julieta Pelcastre / Diálogo August 16, 2019 China leads the list of main soy consumers worldwide, but relies heavily on other countries, especially in Latin America. In 2017, the Asian country consumed 63 percent of the world’s soy production. According to a May 2019 report from London-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the loans Chinese banks granted Asian companies involved in the soy supply chain cause deforestation by way of their financial operations, which endangers biodiversity.In recent years, logging operations to grow illegal crops throughout the region have increased environmental degradation. As a result, military and institutional defense forces of the hemisphere joined efforts to support environmental authorities in protecting and preserving biodiversity in their areas of influence. The British NGO also joined this endeavor, analyzing changes in the habitat so that Latin American governments and investors can make better-informed decisions.CDP states that only eight of the 35 Chinese financial institutions studied between 2013-2017 have policies that consider the environmental impact of financial decisions that cause deforestation. CDP adds that with the growing Chinese soy demand, soy production in South America is expected to increase. The Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the Agricultural Bank of China are the three main institutions granting loans to the soy supply chain.“This will lead to larger, faster deforestation, posing more regulatory and operational risks for the soy sector and related financial institutions in China,” CDP says. Eighty percent of soy imported by China is used to produce oil and food for cattle, says Argentine daily La Voz.Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay are the main soy producers in Latin America. Together, they represent more than half of soy production worldwide, the University of Navarra in Spain said in its article “Soy, South America’s other strategic raw material.” The study highlights that global production of the grain will exceed 500 million tons in 2050, and much of this demand will be met by South America.“Soy crops have a decisive role in deforestation and the loss of sensitive habitats in critical areas, including the Amazon, the Cerrado in Brazil, and the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay,” said the 2018 Annual Report from the platform Trase, a tool developed by the Stockholm Institute for the Environment that monitors the commodity chain at the international level. Trase emphasizes that “deforestation may cause irreversible damage to biodiversity and degrade water security.”Environmental NGO Greenpeace said that in 2018, Argentina lost 113,000 hectares of forests, 41,000 of which were in restricted areas. “Deforestation is connected not only to soy, but also to its demand,” the organization said.Chinese imports of the grain cultivated in Brazil are linked to thelast_img read more


The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet awarded Nobel Peace Prize 2015

first_imgNational dialogue participants propose unity government in Sudan The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet is an alliance made up of four organisations representing labour unions, leaders of industry, lawyers and human rights activists.The Nobel committee praised it for helping establish democracy in the wake of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution in 2011.The uprising was mirrored – by similar revolts in countries such as Egypt and Libya.Many of them have since struggled to uphold democracy and fundamental rights.But Tunisia has seen a democratic transition based on a vibrant civil society.Last year the country saw peaceful elections, supported by the Quartet, which secured approval of the constitutional process among the population.The group helped pave the way for peaceful dialogue and countered the spread of violence in Tunisia.The country still faces significant political, economic and security challenges.But the Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that this year’s prize will contribute towards safeguarding democracy in Tunisia. Related Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet to receive Nobel Peace Prize British author wins 2017 Literature Nobel Prizelast_img read more


At least 40 killed in Iraq protests

first_imgAccording tothe Iraqi High Commission on Human Rights (IHCHR), over 2,000 people wereinjured nationwide as demonstrators vented frustration at political elites. Demonstrators take part in a protest over corruption, lack of jobs and poor services in Najaf, Iraq on Oct. 25. REUTERS/ALAA AL-MARJANI Eightprotesters were killed in Baghdad on Friday, the IHCHR said. BAGHDAD – Atleast 40 protesters were killed in Iraq when security forces and anIranian-backed militia opened fire to quell renewed demonstrations, securitysources said. The bloodshedwas the second major bout of violence this month. A series of clashes two weeksago between protesters and security forces left 157 people dead and over 6,000wounded. A governmentintelligence officer and a member of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia were killedin a clash with protesters in Amara on Friday, police said. At least fiveof them were protesters struck by tear gas canisters.(Reuters)last_img read more