Your Little Bit of Good - For the Earth January 20, 2024

Protect the rainforest with FOREST Act (Fostering Overseas Rule of Law and Environmentally Sound Trade) Act


Creator God, Out of chaos you brought order. Out of nothingness you brought life. In the middle of all life stands the tree.

Trees provide the air that nurtures all your creation. Birds make them their homes. Cats climb them for protection. Trees recycle life that has come before.

Bless the trees of this word, loving God. Remind us to serve as their caregivers and protectors. Give them long limbs and long life.

The gift of their breath is as special to us as the breath of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Author not noted.


The calls for advocacy in support of the FOREST Act are growing. FOREST stands for The Fostering Overseas Rule of Law and Environmentally Sound Trade Act. It’s a mouthful, I know. But it’s a big title for a really big step forward in the fight against deforestation. Basically, this law will outlaw all trade of items that are linked to illegal deforestation; items such as beef, palm oil, cocoa, coffee, soy, rubber, and wood. It will also allow for litigation against those cutting the trees and set up a fund to help countries protect what forests are left.

The US is the biggest consumer of these items; thus we are the biggest contributor to deforestation. This also means we have the ability to make a big change in how these products are brought to the global market. Between 2015 and 2020 the world lost areas of forest equal to 20 million football fields per year. These are forests that will never grow back the same way. It is not only a big driver of climate change, it also leads to large biodiversity loss. Many scientists wonder how many cures for diseases we have lost with the loss of biodiversity.

The bill was introduced by two Democrats and a Republican and has some bipartisan support. While each side has different reasons for supporting the act, in the end, that does not matter. If we can pass this law, we can make a major impact in protecting the world’s forests. I imagine our own Sr. Dorothy Stang is cheering us on as we push for the passage of this legislation!


Learn more about deforestation, and how we play a role through the purchases we make. Many products come from areas planted after illegal logging. Reducing or eliminating your consumption of these products will help. I focus on beef and things made with Palm Oil. You can download an app that will tell you if a product contains palm oil from questionable sources. It's called PalmOil Scan.

Learn about the FOREST Act. Two good sources are from Global Citizen and Sen Brian Schatz, a co-sponsor of the bill. Then, ADVOCATE! ADVOCATE! ADVOCATE! Call your Senator! Tell them you support this Act. Ask them to join as a co-sponsor. Educate family, friends, and strangers about this Act and ask them to advocate as well.

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