EU agenda for global forests - Getting the balance right
The EU engagement in negotiating Forest Partnerships for the period 2022-2027 is expected to deliver on the European Green Deal priorities as well as the EU’s development cooperation objectives, including poverty alleviation and human rights.
In its resolution on the European Green Deal, the European Parliament called on the Commission 'to present, without delay, a proposal for a European legal framework based on due diligence to ensure sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains for products placed on the EU market, with a particular focus on tackling the main drivers of imported deforestation and instead encouraging imports that do not create deforestation abroad'. The Commission indicated that, building on this, it would 'take measures, both regulatory and otherwise, to promote imported products and value chains that do not involve deforestation and forest degradation'.
As the timber trade continues to boom and land is cleared for agricultural purposes, forest areas are constantly shrinking. In its 2020 report on the state of the world’s forests, FAO estimates that 10 million hectares of forest area are lost each year. The report claims that meat, dairy products, soya, rubber, and palm oil are produced at the expense of forest ecosystems.
While supporting the end goal of the European Union in cutting the link with imported deforestation, some stakeholders, including industry, wonder about the consequences that this legislation could have on ongoing efforts to improve practices with third country actors. They ask for a more inclusive approach that gives a positive message to partners in producer countries instead of stigmatising imported products from certain origins and banning them.
“Cleaning up” supply chains will remain a key priority of the EU. But industry argues that the process should build on existing actions and rely on a ‘smart mix’ of different measures, which requires the establishment of solid partnerships and mutual understanding with producing countries.
Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss how to get the balance right in the EU forest protection agenda. Questions include:
- How to ensure EU legislations on due diligence and forest-risk commodities do not hamper efforts underway in third countries?
- How to build bridges with the producers?
- How to reconcile socio-economic development objectives with an EU zero-deforestation standard?
- Is the EU-Mercosur agreement a challenge or an opportunity to secure trade in ‘products from deforestation-free supply chains’?
Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
More speakers to be announced soon.
Brian Maguire, Journalist, EURACTIV
17:00 – 17:05 Welcome
17:05 – 17:20 Keynote Speech
17:20 – 17:30 Panelist statements
17:30 – 18:10 Discussion and Q&A
18:10 – 18:15 Closing statements
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