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Assemblymember Ash Kalra Releases on California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) released a statement today on Assembly Bill (AB) 2002, the California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act, which will not be set for a hearing in a policy committee this year. AB 2002 would have required state procurement contracts comprised of forest-risk to certify that their operations and their supply chains are not contributing to tropical deforestation and to put in place a “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” (NDPE) policy:

“Recognizing the unique and challenging circumstances that have been brought on by the current pandemic, I am committed to continuing the work on the California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act in the next legislative session. I want to thank our sponsors, Friends of the Earth, Peace 4 Animals, and Social Compassion in Legislation, for their continued support on this legislation, and for their leadership in highlighting the critical need to reduce threats to tropical forests and biodiversity—our planet’s best defenses against reducing our exposure to emerging infectious diseases. Protecting our precious ecosystems remains a priority for me, and through measures like AB 2002, we can ensure that we are not inadvertently promoting and sanctioning tropical deforestation and the destruction of irreplaceable natural habitats. Now, more than ever, the connection between global health and the health of our environment cannot be clearer, and we must continue to work together to preserve our finite ecological resources.”

Additional statements from AB 2002 sponsors:

“The COVID-19 crisis has upended all our lives and the global economy, and thrown into stark relief the tremendous vulnerability of our society. California is doing the right thing by prioritizing the immediate crisis – but it is imperative that we also understand the root causes of the crisis and act to transform our economies towards greater resiliency. The science shows us that destruction of biodiversity is a major source of emerging infectious diseases – yet another reason to change our consumption habits to reduce impacts on the world’s tropical forests. We are hopeful that after this pause, the California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act will be heard in 2021 and will be a major contribution towards long term systemic change.” - Jeff Conant, Senior International Forests Program Manager, Friends of the Earth U.S.

“The crisis caused by COVID-19 has put deforestation and loss of habitat for millions of species at the forefront of our collective consciousness. This coronavirus came from a zoonotic transmission where a virus jumps from an animal to a human. That transmission can happen from human consumption of wildlife or by sharing space and vying for the same food source, which deforestation exacerbates. The unnecessary human interaction with these animals is costing us millions of human lives around the globe and is triggering an economic meltdown, while deforestation is decimating animal populations and wreaking havoc on life saving ecosystems. We must make all the strides we can to turn this deadly, destructive tide. We are grateful to continue working with Assemblymember Kalra on this important issue.”​​​​​​​ - Judie Mancuso, Founder and President, Social Compassion in Legislation

“There are an estimated 400-700 Sumatran tigers and 75 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild. Indonesia’s orangutans also continue their slide towards extinction. These species and millions more will be lost forever due to deforestation. I look forward to continuing our fight to combat deforestation and save the habitat of these critically endangered species alongside Assemblymember Kalra by passing the California Deforestation-free Procurement Act in 2021.”​​​​​​​ - Katie Cleary, Founder and President, Peace 4 Animals