PREVENTING DEFORESTATION IN LATIN AMERICA

National Wildlife Federation

Across Latin America, the mighty Amazon rainforest and other critical ecosystems are falling victim to unchecked agricultural development. Even though better use of existing cropland and degraded lands could feed the world and maintain forests that act as a critical buffer against climate change, large agribusinesses – especially those producing and trading soy, used for animal feed — continue to the allow the destruction of these ecosystems.

Focus

To tackle this issue, we set out to convince the world’s largest grain traders to adopt sustainability standards that would protect these special places. We launched an on-the-ground investigation to identify new and recent ‘burn’ sites, talked to neighbors and farmers, matched field visits to satellite mapping and supply chain analysis, and published our results in partnership with Mighty Earth. The ensuing reports – The Ultimate Mystery MeatStill at It and The Avoidable Crisis – linked agribusiness giants Cargill, Bunge, and other top meat retailers to rampant deforestation in Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. These reports were just the start. We’re continuing to campaign for the world’s largest agribusinesses to enforce No Deforestation policies and improve their sustainable practices.

Impact

  • Persuaded three of the world’s largest soy traders to adopt No Deforestation policies.
  • 61 of the world’s largest meat sellers and soy end users, such as McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and Tesco, publicly called for soy and meat companies to protect native ecosystems in Latin America.
  • Launched a grassroots movement against Burger King, pressuring the company to demand that suppliers – especially Cargill and Bunge – remove all deforestation from their supply chains.
  • A New York Times article based on Mighty’s ground-breaking report, The Ultimate Mystery Meat, was the most-emailed story on the Times’ website after its publication.
  • Raised awareness about the destruction by securing media in publications around the world, including Handelsblatt, Le Monde, RFI and The Guardian.