Amazon Soya Moratorium
Greenpeace welcomes trader promises to boycott soya from deforestation

Press release - 14 April, 2009
Greenpeace today welcomed a renewed commitment by Brazilian soya traders to boycott soya grown in newly deforested areas as part of an on-going soya moratorium(1). The announcement came in response to evidence presented by the GTS, the Brazilian coalition tackling Amazon deforestation for soya(2) that some farmers have been breaching the moratorium.

The Brazilian soya traders' associations ABIOVE and ANEC make funding available to farmers to help them grow soya. At the conference they said that, for the next crop season at least, growers who have contravened the ban will have their access to these financial resources restricted.

The announcements and monitoring results were delivered at a press conference that also included the Brazilian Environment Minister, Mr. Carlos Minc.

"Greenpeace congratulates soya traders for keeping their commitments to both the moratorium and their clients and consumers who do not want to be associated with Amazon destruction," said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon Campaign coordinator speaking at the conference. "Today's statements clearly tell those farmers who tried to cheat the moratorium that they will pay through loss of earnings and market access; the challenge for traders now is to find and isolate these farmers from their supply chain."

The monitoring, conducted for GTS by Globasat,found that 12 of the total 630 deforested areas observed were being used to grow soya. Surveillance was focused on areas larger than 100 hectares, with a pilot programme for smaller areas in three parts of Mato Grosso, the Amazon state with the highest rates of deforestation(3).

At the conference, Greenpeace challenged the Brazilian government to act on the commitments it made when the moratorium was extended in June 2008(4). Among these was the promise to speed up registration of rural properties to more easily identify soya farms and Greenpeace welcomed Carlos Minc's promise to commit a further USD 2.29 million to this process.

"I recognise all the positive efforts government, industry and civil society have made to ensure protection of our forest," said Minc. "I credit reductions in Amazon deforestation to agreements such as the soya moratorium." 

Halting Amazon deforestation is essential for Brazil to effectively tackle climate change. Tropical deforestation is responsible for nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and destruction of the Amazon makes Brazil the world's fourth largest climate polluter.

In December 2009 world leaders will meet for crucial UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark(5). Any effective deal to save the climate must include measures to halt deforestation.  Greenpeace believes Brazil must set an example and become a climate leader by committing to end deforestation by 2015, they will need significant support from Western governments to achieve this.

Other contacts: Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon campaign director:

Tica Minami, Greenpeace Communications:

Judy Rodrigues, Greenpeace International forest campaign:

Greenpeace International press desk: +31207182470

Notes: 1. A 2006 Greenpeace investigation that exposed the direct links with soya expansion and Amazon deforestation led to the soya industry agreeing to immediately stop purchasing soya grown in newly deforested areas of the Brazilian Amazon for 2 years from July 2006. In June 2008, the moratorium was extended by another year.

2. The Soya Working Group (GTS) includes soya traders such as Bunge, Cargill, ADM and Amaggi, as well as NGOs including Greenpeace, Conservation International, TNC, IPAM and WWF. The GTS was created to support the implementation of the moratorium.

3. Monitoring results are available at

4. The Brazilian government also committed to support the implementation of the moratorium through measures including speeding up of registration and mapping of rural properties. This includes designating environmental and economic zoning within the Amazon biome; prioritising areas where soya production is concentrated, at a scale of 1:250.000 to allow more precise identification of the limits of the zones where soya can be grown.

5. As part of a Copenhagen agreement that will save the climate, Greenpeace is calling for:
- Global greenhouse gas emissions to peak by 2015 and decline rapidly thereafter reaching as close to zero as possible by mid-century
- Developed countries, as a group, to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels). At least three-quarters of these reductions must be achieved domestically.
- Developing countries to reduce their projected emissions growth by 15-30% by 2020, with support from industrialised countries.
- The establishment of a funding mechanism to stop deforestation and associated emissions in all developing countries by 2020, with key areas (Amazon, Congo Basin and the Paradise Forests in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea) achieving zero deforestation by 2015.