To Keep the Forest Standing: Analyzing Proposals to Safeguard the Brazilian Amazon Through Mandatory Due Diligence
Abstract: The Brazilian state has failed to protect the Amazon rainforest, its biodiversity, and its forest-dependent population. Scientific evidence proves the vital importance of the Amazon biome for life on Earth, as well as its crucial role in maintaining global climate balance. Recently, deforestation rates in Brazil have skyrocketed. A wide range of civil society and official reports show that deforestation linked to business activities in the region is the main threat to keeping the Brazilian Amazon standing. This thesis argues that the Brazilian National Guidelines on Business and Human Rights, which rely on voluntary adherence, do not effectively protect the Amazon. Hence, it will explore the legal context, international frameworks, and the lack of compliance by Brazilian companies with human rights and environmental standards. In the end, this thesis proposes enacting a mandatory due diligence law in Brazil, inspired by German and French models, to hold businesses accountable and ensure comprehensive efforts to protect the Amazon. Lastly, the thesis suggests a long-term objective of a Latin American agreement to create a common environmental due diligence framework for the region, focusing on forest-risk commodities, fostering collective action, and protecting the Amazon.
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