Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest – impact on climate change and the global environment; consequences for companies, workers and population

This is a burning issue, affecting the whole world and impacting our societies in multiple ways. Moreover, it looks like our Latin American partners, although sharing our values, may have different understanding of priorities, different hierarchy of challenges and divergent visions of how to address them.

It is becoming clear that policing actions are not enough to stop deforestation of the planet's "green lungs". The only reliable way to preserve the rainforests is through the creation of different ways of subsistence for the local populations – safer, more profitable, more stable, and more sustainable. The question is: how to do it, amidst conflicting interests, internal and external shocks and pressures.

Throughout 2023, the EESC delegations took part in various Euro-Latin American dialogues, including the EU-Latin America and the Caribbean Forum: Partners in Change held on 13-14 July in Brussels ahead of the EU-CELAC Summit in Brussels in July 2023, the EuroLat events, meetings with representatives of Latin American parliaments and civil society, and also bi-regional events in  El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Having in mind the concerns raised on these occasions by some of our Latin American partners regarding the deforestation in the Amazon and its negative impact on the climate and on the local communities, the Latin America Follow-up Committee decided to kick-off works on the own-initiative opinion on the matter.

The document, to be adopted and published in September 2024, will also reflect on the reasons on both sides of the Atlantic that create reticence leading to further delay of the signature of the UE-MERCOSUR trade agreement.

The EESC aims to collaborate with partners and bring in views of the representatives of the European and Latin American civil societies, to make a meaningful contribution towards finding a common ground among stakeholders.