The Department for Food, Environment, and Rural Affairs has opened a consultation on legislation that would make it illegal for supply chains to source and use products that do not comply with local laws to protect natural areas.
In addition, 81% of people said there should be greater transparency of the origin of the products that are imported into the UK and almost three-quarters (73%) said the UK should stop trading with countries that fail to protect the natural environment.
The WWF report comes as more than 20,000 fires were detected in the Amazon in August this year; following an increase in deforestation alerts of 33% since last year.
Amazon forest logging. Courtesy of Marizilda Cruppe for WWF UK
The destruction and degradation of the Earth’s vital habitats also increases the risk of extreme weather, drives biodiversity loss, and exacerbates the spread of infectious diseases.
Sir Ian Cheshire, the chair of the government’s Global Resource Initiative independent task force added: “We need to find ways of reducing this impact if we are to tackle climate change, reduce the risks of pandemics and protect the livelihoods of some of the poorest people in the world.”
The consultation will run for six weeks and seek views from UK and international stakeholders, and will take into consideration potential impacts on businesses and other interests