A report from WWF says that more than a quarter of deforestation results from agricultural commodities, and that one of the key drivers of deforestation and conversion is the clearance of forests for agricultural “forest-risk” commodities like soy, beef, palm oil, cocoa, timber and rubber. The financial sector plays a major role in facilitating the trade of these commodities, both for products bound for the UK and for foreign markets. A study finds that the UK financial sector is still highly exposed to deforestation and land use conversion risks through its investment and lending. WWF says that the UK Government should strengthen the proposed Environment Bill by including all deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems, extending mandatory due diligence to all companies in the value chain- including financiers. It must also enforce dissuasive penalties, and including free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) provisions for Indigenous communities.
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