Greenpeace blocks Brazilian soybean megaship in the Netherlands | Video
Greenpeace blocked for 18 hours, on May 11, a megaship that brought Brazilian soybeans to the Netherlands, to demand a new and strong law of the European Union (EU) against deforestation because “feeding industrial farms in that area is destroying nature“.
More than 60 volunteers from 16 countries and two indigenous leaders from Brazil participated in the protest with phrases such as: “EU: Stop the destruction of nature now“, at the gate of the sea IJmudien, in Amsterdam. Activists blocked the arrival of the Crimson Ace megaship carrying 60 million kilos of soybeans from Brazil.
“Crimson Ace, a colossal 225 meter vessel, is the symbol of a broken system that promotes environmental destruction and human rights abusesGreenpeace noted on its website.
The blockade ended with arrest by the police of 11 activists.
The nonconformity of the organization stems from the fact that the soybeans that ship was carrying will be used as animal feed (to produce meat, dairy, eggs, fish). This occurs with at least 85% of the soy imported by the EU.
According to calculations by Greenpeace France, the EU mobilizes 11.9 million hectares of soy abroad to meet its livestock needsan amount of land equivalent to the size of Germany.
More than half of this soy is used to produce meat that Europeans consume in amounts well in excess of dietary recommendations.
The Europeans consume about twice as much meat as the world averageand about three times more dairy products.
On the other hand, pasture for cattle and farmland for soy production have been identified as the two main drivers of deforestation worldwide. Through its high consumption, EU countries are responsible for 16% of tropical deforestation related to internationally traded commodities such as meat, palm oil or soybeans.
Furthermore, the negative consequences of overconsumption are not limited to the EU territory as ships such as Crimson Ace may contain soy originating from shattered ecosystems, where indigenous peoples and traditional communities face conflict for their land and other violations (such as violent eviction), Greenpeace said.
Alberto Terena, indigenous leader of the Terena People’s Council in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, said: “We have been driven from our land and our rivers have been polluted with poisonall to make room for the expansion of agribusiness. Europe shares the responsibility for the destruction of our homes. But this legislation can help stop future destruction. We ask the ministers to seize this opportunity, not only to guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples, but also for the future of the planet. The production of food for your industrial animals and the beef that is imported must not continue to mean our suffering“.
More than half of the natural vegetation of the Brazilian Cerrado, home to indigenous communities and unique species such as the jaguar, has already been cut down to plant soybeans and create pasture.
Greenpeace demands the urgent creation of a strong community law to protect forestspeople and nature
Despite the fact that the EU is negotiating with other European ministers on a new law that could protect ecosystems around the world, natural areas such as the Brazilian Cerrado will remain unprotected because the project only seeks to care for forests, although almost half of the soybean imports come from these reserves.
The organization stressed that a strong and watertight “anti-deforestation” law for the EU would be an important part of the solution. But in the case of soy, we must also talk about drastically reducing the production and consumption of meat and dairy.
Scientists recommend reducing meat and dairy consumption in Europe by at least 70% by 2030with the aim of dealing with the climate emergency to protect public health and nature.
“One of the most helpful things everyone can do to act on climate change right now is to eat drastically less meat and dairy. and increase the amount of plant foods in our diet.”