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Deforestation

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons)

What steps the Government are taking to end deforestation in commodity supply chains as agreed in the Amsterdam declaration on deforestation.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I feel like a jack-in-a-box, Mr Speaker.

The UK supports a number of initiatives to eliminate deforestation from supply chains in line with the aims of the Amsterdam declaration. That includes establishing UK roundtables on palm oil and soya to help UK companies realise sustainable sourcing commitments and supporting the tropical forest alliance, a public-private initiative with over 160 members. We also convene the global resource initiative, which will shortly recommend further actions that the UK can take to green our supply chains.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons)

In the year when are due to host COP26, the Environment Bill must be world leading and set an example for other countries to follow. How will DEFRA take responsibility for the UK’s global footprint, and will the Minister confirm that there will be action to remove deforestation from UK supply chains in future?

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The hon. Lady raises an incredibly important point and our vision is for everyone to benefit from more sustainable production of vital agricultural commodities. We have addressed this within the Environment Bill. Our global footprint is incredibly important, and we are considering the recommendations in the global resource initiative and will be very seriously thinking about how Government can take that forward. We are leading by example in many other areas, particularly our Government’s partnerships for forests programme and the soya programme that I mentioned in my previous answer.