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Together for Forests mural unveiled

VIDEO: New Brussels street art highlights EU-driven forest destruction 
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Together for Forests mural

WWF has unveiled the ‘Together for Forests’ mural in an effort to raise awareness of the destructive impacts European consumption has on nature and wildlife around the world.

Created by the acclaimed urban artist and climate activist Carlos Alberto GH, it brings iconic wildlife closer to the European quarter in Brussels, as environment ministers will discuss their position on the new  EU deforestation law on 17 March.

Initiated by WWF, the mural has been curated by the art for social change nonprofit organisation Street Art for Mankind and comes to life with its free app, Behind the Wall®.

‘With every meal, we’re unwittingly wiping out vital ecosystems such as the Amazon or the Cerrado. These are also home to the main characters of our #Together4Forests mural landscape – macaws, jaguars, pumas – which is about to burst into flames. As consumers, we didn’t choose this destruction, and yet we are responsible. Only a strong EU deforestation law can change this.’

Director of WWF’s European Policy Office

Street art that speaks for citizens

Drawing inspiration from the heart of Brazil, and amplifying a message in the heart of Brussels, the mural shows we are all connected.

It voices the demand of 1.2 million citizens and almost 200 NGOs who joined forces in the #Together4Forests campaign and stood up for strong EU legislation to curb global deforestation.

It draws Europeans closer to spectacular forests, wild savannahs and lush grasslands that Indigenous peoples, communities and unique wildlife species call home. 

‘This mural is one of the most significant ones I have ever painted on nature conservation. It represents the beauty but also the fragility of ecosystems, and how our consumption can be catastrophic for them. Doing this work here in Belgium was a big challenge, however, the satisfaction is even bigger.’

Artist and climate activist


EU Deforestation law

Most of the EU’s imported deforestation is embedded in soy-based products and beef, as well as palm oil, wood products, rubber, maize, cocoa and coffee. But EU Member States and the European Parliament can put an end to this in upcoming negotiations on the EU Deforestation law.
To achieve this, it is critical that the scope of the law goes beyond forests from the beginning. Otherwise, the pressure now placed on forests will just be shifted to other ecosystems, such as savannahs, woodlands, grasslands and wetlands.

The new legislation should also cover commodities and products that account for a ‘smaller’ fraction of deforestation, such as rubber and maize.

A loophole-free law will also require geo-location and traceability along the supply chain.

In November 2021, the European Commission had presented its proposal for a new EU deforestation law, which contains some good elements, but loopholes also remain. The ball is now in the court of Member States and the European Parliament.

‘As national ministers and MEPs discuss this law, we call on them to defend the strong elements of the Commission proposal such as knowing the origin of products and close all the remaining gaps. The law does not yet cover all the ecosystems that matter, all products that have an impact and leaves loopholes unaddressed. We hope that this mural will serve as a reminder to them every day that we need to get serious about tackling the EU’s footprint.’

Director of WWF’s European Policy Office

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