The '#Together4Forests' campaign was debated earlier this month by Associação Natureza Portugal (ANP), Portugal's partner in the international organisation World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), which coordinates the campaign alongside other environmental organisations such as Quercus, Zero, SPEA and SOS Animal.
The campaign was launched in September and brings together more than 150 European non-governmental organisations, which are calling on the European Union to create a law to regulate the entry into European markets of products resulting from deforestation and land conversion.
In addition to climate change, fires and the increase in agricultural land are destroying forests and other habitats and Europeans consume products resulting from these actions, even without knowing it.
Now citizens are calling for a law to halt this deforestation, "in what is the most successful public consultation on environmental issues in the history of the European Union," says the ANP/WWF, adding that this is also the second most participatory public consultation ever in the European Union.
More than 10,000 Portuguese have already signed the call for legislators to create a law to prevent products linked to deforestation and ecosystem conversion from reaching the European market.
"All these people want to be sure that what they buy does not contribute to the destruction of forests and other ecosystems. This is a clear signal that citizens are giving policy makers to act and promote food systems that protect nature," said Catarina Grilo, director of conservation and policy at ANPWF, cited in the statement.
She warns that since 2015, each year 10 million hectares of forests are destroyed (more than the total area of Portugal), and says that Europeans are responsible for more than 10 percent of that destruction, for the consumption of products such as meat, dairy products, soy for animal feed, palm oil, rubber, coffee and cocoa.
The ANP/WWF calls for more Portuguese to participate in the collection of signatures. "This is the only way to guarantee that what we consume does not irreparably destroy some of the most important ecosystems on our planet," the association said in a statement.