The EU already imports huge quantities of agricultural goods - particularly soy and beef - which are helping destroy the rainforests of the Amazon and tropical savannah of the Cerrado. 

But it’s not just the environment that suffers. Agricultural expansion leads to Indigenous People in Brazil facing threats, intimidation, murder and violent land seizures. The proposed EU-Mercosur deal will exacerbate this trend as it aims to increase trade but fails to provide enforceable provisions to prevent it from causing deforestation or land-grabbing. Such provisions are particularly important under the current Brazilian government, led by President Jair Bolsonaro. 

What do Fern and our partners want? 

The EU must stop supporting the trade in commodities that drive deforestation and human rights violations. The EU-Mercosur agreement must contain enforceable provisions ensuring goods coming from Mercosur countries to the EU have not driven ecosystem destruction or human rights abuses.  

International trade can only avoid harming people and forests if civil society have the political space to help define laws and defend Indigenous rights. APIB, Brazil’s largest Indigenous Peoples network, and Observatorio do Clima, Brazil’s largest climate NGO network, have identified seven steps that would need to be taken in Brazil to prevent Mercosur from causing disaster 

What are we doing? 

In Brazil we are working with Brazilian NGOs and the Articulation of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples APIB to alert EU policy makers on the impacts the agreement is likely to have on Indigenous Peoples and forests. We are also working with MIDIA NINJA to inform Brazilian civil society about the content of the deal and how they can persuade the EU to stop the damage it may cause. 

In the EU, we are working with other European NGOs to raise awareness of the Commission’s legal obligation to assess the impact of a trade deal to stop it from leading to social, economic, environmental degradation and human rights violations. We are also engaging with EU policy makers to ensure that any trade agreement with Mercosur countries contains enforceable protections for forests and rights, and that the dialogue the Commission is having with Mercosur countries addresses the demands of Brazilian CSOs.. 

Perrine Fournier

Perrine Fournier

Trade and Forest Campaigner

Nicole Polsterer

Nicole Polsterer

Sustainable Consumption and Production Campaigner