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Hong Kong’s role in illegal deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Earth.Org or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: An investigation reveals that businesses in Hong Kong have been importing beef from suppliers linked to illegal deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest, a practice known as "cattle laundering."
• The city's significant demand for Brazilian beef, particularly bovine offal, plays a pivotal role in this issue, given its status as the world's largest buyer of such products

🔭 The context: Cattle farming is identified as a major driver of deforestation in the Amazon, with about 17% of the forest already lost
• Hong Kong, with scarce agricultural land, imports over 90% of its food, relying heavily on Brazilian beef imports
• The European Union's recent regulations aim to curb the importation of deforestation-linked products, but much of the demand for Brazilian beef comes from Asia, notably Hong Kong and China

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The illegal deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest contributes significantly to global climate change and biodiversity loss
• By facilitating the trade of beef products linked to deforestation, Hong Kong indirectly contributes to these environmental issues
• The European Union's steps towards reducing the impact of deforestation through trade regulations highlight the potential for similar measures in Asia

⏭️ What's next: Increased awareness and policy changes towards sustainable and traceable meat consumption are essential
• NGOs like Greenpeace and Imaflora are advocating for and working towards establishing more sustainable supply chains
• The demand from major markets, such as Hong Kong and China, for sustainably sourced products could incentivize Brazilian suppliers to adopt environmentally friendly practices

💬 One quote: "Hong Kong is not just another consuming country, but also an entry point for China... that is not properly traced," says Marina Guyot, manager of public policy at Imaflora.

📈 One stat: In 2022, Hong Kong imported US$253.65 million worth of frozen, edible beef offal and animal guts, bladders, and stomachs from Brazil, accounting for 48% of the country's exports of those products.

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability


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