Once signed into law, California will become the first state in the country to require companies which sell forest-risk commodities to California to initiate state government procurement contracts that certify that products such as palm oil, soy, cattle, rubber, paper/pulp, and timber maintain a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy. They will also have to certify that their operations are not linked to tropical forest destruction and degradation or abuses of Indigenous peoples' rights. If passed, the bill will make California an example for the world to follow.
"If we don't fight for the protection of critical rainforest habitat, we will lose vital species such as Indonesian orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Javan rhinos, and millions of species that call our rainforests home." stated Katie Cleary, Founder and President of Peace 4 Animals, whose non-profit is a co-sponsor of The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act, and World Animal News.
Having traveled through the rainforest in Central Costa Rica more than a decade ago, Cleary was shocked by the destruction of thousands of acres of rainforest for the production of palm oil, paper products, and timber. Determined to create change, in 2013, Cleary launched one of Peace 4 Animals' first campaigns to encourage grocery stores to go Palm Oil free.
"Eight years later, we are still fighting and will continue to fight for the protection of our rainforests from deforestation after we witnessed first-hand the destruction of critical habitat in Borneo and Sumatra while filming our second documentary, Why On Earth," continued Cleary. "Tragically, two-thirds of our Earth's tropical rainforests have been destroyed or degraded. The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act will help to aid in the protection of many species on the brink of extinction. We are very hopeful that this important bill will be signed into law by the Governor of California."