Update On Peace 4 Animals, SCIL & FOE’s Sponsorship Of The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act To Save Rainforest Habitat Of Critically Endangered Species

The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act set forth to save critical rainforest habitat and endangered species will not be moving forward this year in the California legislative session, but will be introduced again in 2021 through the bill’s author Assemblymember Ash Kalra.

The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act (AB 2002) would require state procurement contracts comprised of forest-risk commodities to certify that their operations and supply chains are not contributing to tropical deforestation and to put in place a “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” (NDPE) policy.

“Recognizing the unique and challenging circumstances that have been brought on by the current pandemic, I am committed to continuing the work on the California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act in the next legislative session. I want to thank our sponsors, Peace 4 Animals, Friends of the Earth (FOE), and Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL) for their continued support on this legislation, and for their leadership in highlighting the critical need to reduce threats to tropical forests and biodiversity—our planet’s best defenses against reducing our exposure to emerging infectious diseases,” stated Kalra.

“Protecting our precious ecosystems remains a priority for me, and through measures like AB 2002, we can ensure that we are not inadvertently promoting and sanctioning tropical deforestation and the destruction of irreplaceable natural habitats. Now, more than ever, the connection between global health and the health of our environment cannot be clearer, and we must continue to work together to preserve our finite ecological resources.”

AB 2002 sponsors agree.

Katie Cleary, Founder and President of Peace 4 Animals and World Animal News, also shared some staggering statics.

“There are only an estimated 400-700 Sumatran tigers and 75 Sumatran rhinos remaining in the wild. Indonesia’s orangutans are also continuing to decline towards extinction. These species and millions more will be lost forever due to deforestation if we don’t act now,” said Cleary. “I look forward to continuing our fight to combat deforestation and save the habitat of these critically endangered species alongside Assemblymember Kalra by passing the California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act in 2021.”

“The COVID-19 crisis has upended all our lives and the global economy, and thrown into stark relief the tremendous vulnerability of our society. California is doing the right thing by prioritizing the immediate crisis – but it is imperative that we also understand the root causes of the crisis and act to transform our economies towards greater resiliency,” said Jeff Conant, Senior International Forests Program Manager, Friends of the Earth U.S. (FOE). “The science shows us that destruction of biodiversity is a major source of emerging infectious diseases – yet another reason to change our consumption habits to reduce impacts on the world’s tropical forests.”

“The crisis caused by COVID-19 has put deforestation and loss of habitat for millions of species at the forefront of our collective consciousness. This coronavirus came from a zoonotic transmission where a virus jumps from an animal to a human. That transmission can happen from human consumption of wildlife or by sharing space and vying for the same food source, which deforestation exacerbates,” noted Judie Mancuso, Founder and President of Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL). “The unnecessary human interaction with these animals is costing us millions of human lives around the globe and is triggering an economic meltdown, while deforestation is decimating animal populations and wreaking havoc on life saving ecosystems. We must make all the strides we can to turn this deadly, destructive tide. We are grateful to continue working with Assemblymember Kalra on this important issue.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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