Press release | Dec. 1, 2015

Global Witness reaction: Prince of Wales urges companies to reduce forest footprint

Global Witness welcomes a statement made by the Prince of Wales at the Paris climate summit today, in which he urged governments and companies to do more to protect forests as one of our best hopes against irreversible climate change.

“Prince Charles is right to stress the major role of commodity companies in driving deforestation, which are accelerating climate change and the forced displacement of millions of indigenous people, but are seldom held to account,” said Global Witness Co-Founder Patrick Alley.   

The Prince also said that one of best strategies for safeguarding our forests would be to grant indigenous communities who live in them legal rights to protect them.

“The people who live in forests have the most at stake in keeping them standing,” said Alley. “Across Latin America, strengthening indigenous rights to land has proven links to healthier forests and lower carbon emissions. This is a model we should be replicating globally,” said Alley.   

“If the Paris climate conference is to claim success it must include concrete commitments to protect the rights of communities over their land and forests, and to clamp down on the trade in timber and agricultural products, which is driving egregious environmental destruction and land grabbing and pushing our vanishing rainforests ever closer to extinction.”  

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