In a landmark vote, the California Assembly passed a groundbreaking bill that would ensure the state’s procurement contracts protect boreal and tropical forests and fundamental Indigenous rights.
With the passage of the California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act (Assembly Bill 416), the Assembly has moved the state closer toward embracing a bold and essential framework for safeguarding the world’s most indispensable natural allies in the fight against climate change.
AB 416, which is co-sponsored by NRDC, Friends of the Earth, Social Compassion in Legislation, and Peace 4 Animals requires that contractors supplying forest products to the state have policies to prevent boreal and tropical deforestation and intact forests loss and guarantee Indigenous Peoples the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for any operations on their traditional territories.
The boreal, which crowns the Northern Hemisphere in a carbon-dense landscape of spruce, larch, and birch, is a vital ally in the fight against climate change. Per acre, it holds twice as much carbon as tropical forests.
Yet, industry has been quietly driving this crucial forest toward a breaking point, pushing at-risk species to the brink and releasing the boreal’s vast stores of carbon into the atmosphere.
With climate scientists around the world calling for the protection of the world’s remaining intact forests and growing marketplace pressure to protect both boreal and tropical forests, AB 416 sets up a framework for governments and industry to finally embrace greater supply chain rigor and clarity and ensure Indigenous Peoples’ globally recognized rights to dictate the future of their territories.
Reference- NRDC, California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act, Clean Technica, The Guardian, BBC