Written by Monique van Wijnbergen, Natural Habitat’s Sustainability & Corporate Communications Director and spokesperson for Palm Done Right.
For centuries, cutting and burning down forests was the way to prepare forested land for agricultural activity. This practice is still applied by many farmers around the world. When I visited Ucayali region in Peru last September, many smallholders were burning their land. It was the end of the dry season and the ‘perfect’ moment to clear land to grow more crops.
Around 70% of deforestation is linked to the production of agricultural commodities and contributed to the 2 billion hectares of degraded land worldwide. Land degradation threatens species diversity and our global food systems — it has reduced the productivity of 23% of the global land service.
Considering these numbers, eradicating deforestation from supply chains is crucial to our survival. One way to realize this is to work with farmers and increase productivity on existing agricultural lands.