An important part of this paper is to outline a theoretical framework regarding the researchquestion that I asked in the beginning: “What is the role of the Netherlands in contributing to Amazon deforestation by importing Brazilian Beef?”. Let us take a closer look to two essential parts of this research, namely globalisation and green criminology, to get an better idea of what we are talking about.
Although it is disputed that globalisation is a new phenomenon, it certainly points out the complexity of meat consumption nowadays. According to Chan (2000: 600), globalisation involves “the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa’” . The demand of meat for example in the Netherlands is shaping the events of cattle ranching and illegal deforestation in the Amazon of Brazil. We can say that the relation between Brazil and the Netherlands is tightened in this way. But this relation is not a very clear and a simple one. The connection between the demand of meat in the Netherlands, the cattle ranching in Brazil and the deforestation in the Amazon is rather complex. Tomlinson’s notion of ‘complex connectivity’ (Chan 2000: 600) which he refers to globalisation, can also be applied on the connectivity of the demand of meat and illegal deforestation. Trade in this way in not anymore from A to B, but has many chains in between. Brazil exports his meat to national and international markets and become in this way part of a globalized network of trade (Nepstad 2006: 1). White ( 2003: 684) argues that criminologists need to examine environmental issues “in ways that incorporate the growing complexity and multi-dimensionality of this area.”. So, also in this research we have to keep in mind the complexity and multi-dimensionality of the role of the Netherlands in contributing to Amazon deforestation by importing Brazilian beef.
A special aspect of green criminology is that it takes ‘harm’ as a central concept. It addresses violations of environmental morality, environmental ethics and animal rights (Carrabine, 2009: 387). According to Boekhout van Solinge & Kuijpers (2013: 200) deforestation is rarely regarded as a criminological issue. They argue that this is strange given the extent in which it occurs across the world. An area of forest the size of a football field disappears every two seconds. But what do we mean with illegal deforestation? The most common definition is: “the breaking of national laws and international treaties regulating the harvesting, processing, transporting, and trading of timber” (Interpol & The World Bank, 2008: 4). Illegal deforestation had many harming effects, such as greenhouse gas emissions (Questions and Answers Regulation, 2008), decline of biodiversity (Oijen & Angerand, 2007: 3), desertification, soil erosion and can exacerbate extreme...