New York Senate passes bill to prevent tropical deforestation News
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New York Senate passes bill to prevent tropical deforestation

The New York State Senate Tuesday passed the Tropical Deforestation-Free Procurement Act, a bill aimed at protecting tropical rainforests and human rights in other countries through state government relations with contractors.

The bill will require state contractors who work with commodities derived from rainforests to certify that their products are not contributing to deforestation or degradation. According to the bill, this certification must be done through data analysis and a demonstration of supply chain due diligence.

The bill will also create a transparency system so that small, medium-sized, women and minority-owned businesses can gain knowledge and achieve ethical supply chain activities to prevent tropical deforestation and human rights abuses.

Under the bill, two representatives from indigenous communities in the areas of the tropical rainforests will be required, as well as business and civilian representatives, to form a “Stakeholder Advisory Group” to ensure the act is implemented effectively.

The bill calls for contractors and business owners that have a partnership with the government to take responsibility for their forest-risk commodities, which include soy, beef, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, wood pulp, paper and wood products. The bill aims to ensure their usage of such products do not come from places where deforestation or forest degradation occurred after January 1.

The bill will next need to be voted on in the New York Assembly, then, if approved, will need to be signed into law by the governor.