Soy Moratorium extension is a victory for the Amazon | WWF
Soy Moratorium extension is a victory for the Amazon

Posted on 29 January 2015

The Soy Moratorium, the agreement that ensures that companies do not to trade, acquire or finance soybeans linked to deforestation in the Amazon, has been extended until 31 May 2016.
Brasilia, Brazil: The Soy Moratorium, the agreement that ensures that companies do not to trade, acquire or finance soybeans linked to deforestation in the Amazon, has been extended until 31 May 2016.

This is the 8th extension of the moratorium and was signed by Izabella Teixeira, Minister of the Environment, and representatives of ABIOVE (Brazilian Vegetable Oil Industries Association), Greenpeace and ANEC (National Grain Exporters Association).

WWF welcomes this development. A WWF Brazilian representative said ’The extension of the soy moratorium is very welcome news.

"The Soy Moratorium has played a very important role in combating deforestation in the Amazon and is a great example of civil society, business and government coming together to prevent further destruction world’s largest rainforest."

The extension of moratorium coincides with the official deadline for registration and compliance with Brazil's new Forest Code. The law was changed in 2012 amidst lobbying from Brazil's powerful agribusiness lobby and it weakened legislation on forest conservation and land use.

Deforestation in Brazil increased by 29% last year, reversing the trend of decline from previous years. This increase has been linked to the new Forest Code.

The core of the soy moratorium is that companies do not buy soy, trade or finance soy beans cultivated on land deforested after July 2008. It came into effect in 2006 and has played an important role in reducing the rate of deforestation in the Amazon by prohibiting the trade of soybeans cultivated in deforested areas.

While it has been successful in protecting the Amazon it has been linked with soy production moving to other vulnerable areas such as the Cerrado and the Gran Chaco.

The cultivation of soybeans in South America has expanded rapidly in recent years. Driven by rising demand for meat - most soy is used in animal feed for the production of farmed fish, meat, eggs and dairy - the soy fields of South America now occupy an area as large as Germany. This expansion threatens the habitat of iconic species such as the jaguar and anteater, threatens the livelihood and human rights of local forest peoples and is contributing to climate change.

"The extension of the soy moratorium is welcome news in the fight to save the forests of Brazil. However it is disappointing that at this stage there is still no agreement about stopping the destruction of other important forests and savannahs such as the Cerrado.’ Says WWF Soy Lead Sandra Mulder.

WWF is working with growers and buyers to mitigate the effects of soy production on the environment. It is one of the founding members of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) and also works with governments in both producer and consumer countries to create legislation that protects the forest of South America while allowing for the economic benefits from soy to continue.

Find out more about WWF’s work on Soy: http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/
 
Burning_to_clear_land_for_soy_cultivation_in_Argentin_Chaco
© Pablo Herrera/Lab. Ecología Regional - FCEyN UBA