Forest Legislations 1
Archer Daniels Midland, the third largest global supplier of agricultural commodities and one of the world’s leading soy traders, is launching their Responsible Soy Standard. Under this new programme, yearly assessments will be conducted by expert third parties to determine if growers are complying with a number of environmental, legal, social and agronomic standards.
Despite soy production acting as a leading driver of deforestation across South America, palm oil has remained the priority commodity for companies in the fight against deforestation. While 117 private companies have pledged to reduce the impact of their involvement with palm oil, only 27 have done the same with soy. It is hoped that ADM’s commitment could lead to other organisations following their lead and expanding their commitments to deforestation across commodities.
Experts have warned, however, that although commitments like these have led to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, the problem is simply being moved elsewhere. Much of the conversion of natural ecosystems for soy cultivation now occurs in other areas including Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.
The Paraguayan government has extended the “Zero Deforestation Law” for a further five years, resulting in an important conservation win for this highly threatened eco-region.
The Land Conversion Moratorium for the Atlantic Forest of Paraguay, also known as the “Zero Deforestation Law” was enacted in 2004 and dramatically slowed the country’s deforestation rate by prohibiting the transformation and conversion of forested areas in Paraguay's eastern region. The Atlantic Forest corridor covers Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, and is one of the world's most endangered tropical rainforests, with just 7 percent of its original surface coverage remaining.
Paraguay previously had the second-highest deforestation rate in the world, and nearly 7 million hectares of Atlantic Forest were lost to slash-and-burn methods of agriculture and ranching. Most of the remaining forests have been exploited for timber, and some are second growth forests recovering from deforestation. After Paraguay approved the Zero Deforestation Law for the eastern part of the country in 2004, there was a decrease of deforestation by about 90%.