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GM, Michelin put brakes on deforestation linked to rubber

In Southeast Asia, which supplies 90 percent of the world’s rubber, this demand has translated into rapid deforestation and predatory land grabs from small farmers, as the lucrative demand for rubber attracts new entrants to the market, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Plantation builders are clearing the biodiversity of tropical forests to plant exclusively rubber trees. The governments of Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand are interested in the economic benefits of rubber cultivation, pushing for more plantations to be established, according to news reports.

But now, the major buyers of raw rubber are stepping in to try to curb deforestation and advocate for sustainable cultivation of rubber.