Supporting The FOREST Act
The FOREST Act (S.2950/ H.R. 5508) is a critical opportunity to tackle global deforestation and forest degradation that contributes to climate change and biodiversity loss, while promoting good governance and leveling the playing field for responsible businesses at home and abroad. It is sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick
Faith groups, including the Inter-religious Working Group on Extractive Industries, supports this bill out of our solidarity with Indigenous peoples around the world, including in the Amazon region of South America, who have been protecting critical forest habitats for millennia. We see this bill as one mechanism for weakening the link between deforestation and violent land invasions that lead to food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and even forced displacement.
We therefore urge Congress to pass the FOREST Act with these key provisions:
- Prohibit agricultural commodities produced on illegally deforested land from entering the U.S. market;
- Require companies to carry out and report on risk-based due diligence, including supply chain traceability, on imports of commodities linked to deforestation;
- Increase U.S. engagement with and support for countries taking meaningful steps to improve governance and reduce deforestation;
- Strengthen tools to tackle deforestation-related corruption and financial crime; and
- Establish a federal government procurement preference for zero deforestation products.
Learn more about why faith groups are supporting The FOREST Act by reading our letter in support of the bill. We also invite you to urge your legislators to co-sponsor the bill. Write to them here.