An Edge Hill University expert believes this week’s announcement of a new law to curb deforestation in supply chains doesn’t go far enough in tackling climate change.
The UK government unveiled plans this week to make it illegal and impose fines on companies who are unable to provide details of the origins of products and who do not comply with the new law in protecting forests and other natural ecosystems.
Although this is a step in the right direction, Dr Sven Batke, Senior Lecturer in Plant Science, believes it still doesn’t really address more pressing issues surrounding climate change and sustainable forest management.
“Yes, illegal logging is an issue and yes, we have the responsibility as a consumer nation of products that derive from illegally logged forests to initiate strict control measures for importation of these products,” said Dr Batke. “However, stopping products to come into the UK does not really stop the logging of forests.”
He continued: “Initiatives to reduce the impact of illegal logging need to be more preventative, rather than symptomatic. For this to really have an impact, we would need local conservation management projects to work closely with local stakeholders on sustainable forest management strategies.
“I believe that although demand can strongly drive illegal logging, also the absence of local national incentives in countries that have a sad history of illegal logging can strongly drive unsustainable forest harvests and conversions.”
Dr Batke joined Edge Hill University in 2017 as a Lecturer in Biology who works on forest plant-atmospheric interactions, with specific focus on studying forest canopy plants in Central and South America.