European Commission launches Communication on deforestation "Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests"

Today the European Commission adopted a comprehensive Communication setting out a new framework of actions to protect and restore the world's forests.

The Communication was long expected. It comes after extensive stakeholder consultations on deforestation and forest degradation and possible EU action, including two conferences, a public consultation and three studies. The Communication also comes in response to repeated requests from the Council and European Parliament, calling for more coordinated action in particular via the elimination of deforestation from agricultural commodity chains.

"The reinforced approach announced today addresses both the supply and demand side of the issue. It introduces measures for enhanced international cooperation with stakeholders and Member States, promotion of sustainable finance, better use of land and resources, sustainable job creation and supply chain management, and targeted research and data collection. It also launches an assessment of possible new regulatory measures to minimise the impact of EU consumption on deforestation and forest degradation.

The Commission has set out five priorities:

  • Reduce the EU consumption footprint on land and encourage the consumption  of products from deforestation-free supply chains in the EU;
  • Work in partnership with producing countries to reduce pressures on forests and to “deforest-proof” EU development cooperation;
  • Strengthen international cooperation to halt deforestation and forest degradation, and encourage forest restoration;
  • Redirect finance to support more sustainable land-use practices;
  • Support the availability of, quality of, and access to information on forests and commodity supply chains, and support research and innovation.

MVO, together with other European stakeholders and organisations has been participating in earlier consultation and meetings. We underline the importance of multilateral institutional dialogue with exporting countries to combat deforestation. Furthermore we have been working in the past to serve EU market demand for responsibly produced (including deforestation-free) products. We will continue to do so building on the relevant recommended actions.

A link to the communicaton can be found here.

A link to the EC press release can be found here.

Last modified: July 23, 2019