An Illustrated guide to Europe’s role in Paraguay forest destruction


Earthsight and MEP Anna Cavazzini have published a new supply chain graphic showing how EU car leather helps fuel the loss of indigenous land in South America

A German version of the supply chain graphic. Credit: Anna Cavazzini

Earthsight’s September 2020 investigation revealed how indigenous land in Paraguay was being illegally cleared for leather destined for use in cars sold across Europe.

Grand Theft Chaco provided yet another example of the complicity of European companies, and unwittingly consumers, in accelerating deforestation overseas.

It showed why the introduction of strong demand-side regulations are critical to halt consumer markets’ complicity in the rampant destruction of the world’s forests.

Thankfully, legislative actions in the UK, Germany and at EU level are underway. These could be landmark laws that have a sizeable impact in reducing Europe’s deforestation footprint but only if they are comprehensive and far-reaching.

Recent proposals in Germany and the UK point to the clear need for improvements and more hard-hitting policies, while the EU is set to detail its own supply chain law plans later this year.

An illustrated explanation of our Grand Theft Chaco investigation. Credit: Earthsight/Anna Cavazzini

To show the impact our everyday consumption can have on the planet and to increase pressure on regulators in the EU, Germany and the UK we produced the above illustration in partnership with MEP Anna Cavazzini detailing our Grand Theft Chaco investigation. 

Cavazzini is a German member of the European Parliament for the Greens/EFA group. She is the Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

The map explains how leather used by some of Europe’s largest automotive firms is linked to illegal deforestation in Paraguay.

It details the process in which forest illegally cleared on a protected indigenous reserve to raise cattle sets off a chain of events that ultimately sees the leather derived from this production end up in the supply chains of major European car firms.

The map can be downloaded in English and German here.

More from Blog

There Will Be Blood / Four key takeaways from our latest report

Continue reading
UK Environment Act / Analyses show exemptions would create dangerous loopholes

Continue reading

Leather / BMW fails to substantiate allegations against Earthsight’s research

Continue reading
It is essential that a mandatory public list of non-compliant businesses is included in the final regulation to curb EU-driven deforestation and forest degradation

Continue reading
Brazil / World’s largest sovereign wealth fund finds beef giant guilty of driving illegal deforestation

Continue reading
Grand Theft Chaco II / Paraguay Senate seeks accountability from government following Earthsight illegal deforestation exposé

Continue reading
EU anti-deforestation law / Suspect timber firms lobby for certified wood ‘green lane’ in draft proposal

Continue reading
Open letter / Paraguay must halt invasions, deforestation of indigenous Ayoreo lands

Continue reading
FSC hall of shame / The ethical wood label’s long line of scandals

Continue reading
Open letter / Ethical wood label FSC is no longer fit for purpose and must urgently reform

Continue reading

Stay up to date with all Earthsight news & updates

Receive email updates for the latest news and insights from Earthsight and be among the first to read our new investigations.

We keep your data secure and don’t share anything with third parties. Read full terms.