Skip to Content

EU Drivers: Briefing note

Recommendations for an EU Action Plan to Protect Forests and Respect Rights

Keeping forests standing and restoring ecosystems is essential if the world is to meet biodiversity objectives and the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The EU will be an important player and has already made commitments to halt deforestation by 2020, and look into developing an EU Action Plan on Deforestation. To meet these commitments the EU must support activities to improve forest governance, clarify land use, and recognise and strengthen community tenure rights over forest land.

This briefing note reveals the EU action needed to protect forests and meet Sustainable Development Goal 15.2.

DocumentSize
PDF iconinternet version.pdf1.94 MB

Agricultural commodity consumption in the EU - Soy

An area of forest the size of Portugal was lost globally between 2010 and 2015 because of EU consumption of commodities grown on deforested land, much of it illegal. Such destruction often violates the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples, causes massive biodiversity loss, and contributes to climate change. Fern is calling for an EU Action Plan to ensure imports of forest-risk commodities are legally sourced and ecologically viable.

This is the second in a series of background notes on agricultural commodities.

It will be of particular interest to journalists and those looking for an introduction to the topic.

To read a report on the EU Common Agricultural Policy, soy and deforestation click here

 

 

Briefing notes in this series:

 

 


References for the findings in this briefing note:

1. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/pdf/1.%20Report%20analysis%20of%20impact.pdf

2 http://www.fern.org/stolengoods

3 https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/agricultural-commodity-supply-chains-trade-consumption-and-deforestation

4 Consumer Goods and Deforestation – An Analysis of the Extent and Nature of Illegality in Forest Conversion for Agriculture and Timber Plantations, 2014: www. Forest-trends.org/documents/files/doc_4718.pdf

5 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/pdf/1.%20Report%20analysis%20of%20impact.pdf

6 https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/agricultural-commodity-supply-chains-trade-consumption-and-deforestation

7 https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/agricultural-commodity-supply-chains-trade-consumption-and-deforestation

8 Soy Barometer 2014, Research conducted by Profundo for the Dutch Soy Coalition: www.profundo.nl/files/download/Sojacoalitie1410a.pdf

9 http://www.globalsoybeanproduction.com/

10 http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/esa/Global_persepctives/world_ag_2030_50_2012_rev.pdf

11 Soy Barometer 2014, Research conducted by Profundo for the Dutch Soy Coalition: www.profundo.nl/files/download/Sojacoalitie1410a.pdf

12 ABIOVE. Soja Plus. Program of Economic Management, Social and Environmental Responsibility of the Brazilian Soy

13 Illegal Deforestation Monitor – Soy Profile: http://www.bad-ag.info/commodities/soy/

14 http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/6/2/024010/meta

15 http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/impacts/

16 http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/impacts/

17 Soy Barometer 2014, Research conducted by Profundo for the Dutch Soy Coalition: www.profundo.nl/files/download/Sojacoalitie1410a.pdf

18 http://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/guarani[1] https://news.mongabay.com/2016/10/violence-against-indigenous-people-high-as-land-conflicts-heat-up/

19 Soy Barometer 2014, Research conducted by Profundo for the Dutch Soy Coalition: www.profundo.nl/files/download/Sojacoalitie1410a.pdf

20 Soy Barometer 2014, Research conducted by Profundo for the Dutch Soy Coalition: www.profundo.nl/files/download/Sojacoalitie1410a.pdf

21 https://cofcointernational.com/about-cofco-international/

22 http://www.fern.org/stolengoods

23 Company Promises: How Businesses are Meeting Commitments to End Deforestation; Fern; March 2017:  http://www.fern.org/sites/fern.org/files/Company%20promises.pdf  

24 http://www.responsiblesoy.org/?lang=en

25 Company Promises: How Businesses are Meeting Commitments to End Deforestation; Fern; March 2017:  http://www.fern.org/sites/fern.org/files/Company%20promises.pdf

26 Illegal Deforestation Monitor – Soy Profile: http://www.bad-ag.info/commodities/soy/

27 The EU Common Agricultural Policy, Feedstocks and Deforestation, Fern, May 2017

28 https://nelson.wisc.edu/sage/docs/publications/GibbsetalScience2015.pdf

29 The EU Common Agricultural Policy, Feedstocks and Deforestation, Fern, May 2017

30  The EU Common Agricultural Policy, Feedstocks and Deforestation, Fern, May 2017

31 Figures obtained by the NGO Transport & Environment from FEDIOL, the EU vegetable oil and protein meal industry association

32 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-energy-biofuels-idUSKBN13H1EA

33http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/wpcontent/uploads/sites/2/2014/07/New-York-Declaration-on-Forest-%E2%80%93-Action-Statement-and-Action-Plan.pdf and https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg15

34 http://www.fern.org/publications/reports/developing-eu-measures-address-forest-risk-commodities-what- can-be-learned-eu

35 http://www.fern.org/blueprint

 

Agricultural commodity consumption in the EU - Palm Oil

An area of forest the size of Portugal was lost globally between 2010 and 2015 because of EU consumption of commodities grown on deforested land, much of it illegal. Such destruction often violates the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples, causes massive biodiversity loss, and contributes to climate change. Fern is calling for an EU Action Plan to ensure imports of forest-risk commodities are legally sourced and ecologically viable.

This briefing note, the first in a series, focusses on Palm Oil.

It will be of particular interest to journalists and those looking for an introduction to the topic.


 

How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? Focus on forests

In September 2015, world governments adopted an Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The aims are noble and daunting – end all forms of poverty, fight inequality, address climate change, and ensure that no one is left behind. This leaflet explains why these goals cannot be met without changes to EU forest policy.

It is not enough to see forests as an ‘environment-only’ issue. Protecting forests and the communities that defend them is just as much about poverty eradication, food security, climate change, social justice and sustainable consumption and production patterns. Any EU response to the SDGs must therefore include the protection of forests and the recognition and promotion of the rights of those who live in them.

DocumentSize
PDF iconFocus on forests.pdf401.04 KB

EU consumption and illegal deforestation

Half of all tropical deforestation since 2000 has been caused by illegal clearance of forests for commercial agriculture. Fern’s new study, summarised here, suggests that the EU is one of the largest importers of products resulting from illegal deforestation. The report makes calculations in terms of forest lost as well as value of goods traded. The study estimates that in 2012 the EU imported EUR 6 billion of soy, beef, leather and palm oil that originated from land illegally cleared of forests in the tropics – almost a quarter of the total world trade in illegally sourced agricultural commodities.

Also available in Dutch, German, and Italian.

Most recent publications

Blog: How can EU policies halt deforestation?

By Nicole Polsterer

In the five years between 2010 and 2015, EU consumption raized an area of forests the size of Portugal. In 2012 alone, the EU imported EUR 6 billion of soy, palm, leather, and beef produced on forests illegally converted to agricultural land. So how can EU policies ensure that we, as EU citizens and consumers, are not complicit in human rights abuses and deforestation, just by eating beef, using shampoo or filling up our cars with biofuels?

Recommendations for an EU Action Plan to Protect Forests and Respect Rights

Keeping forests standing and restoring ecosystems is essential if the world is to meet biodiversity objectives and the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

DocumentSize
PDF iconinternet version.pdf1.94 MB

Tackling deforestation and forest degradation: a case for EU action in 2017

This statement outlines eight NGOs' vision for an Action Plan to Protect Forests and Protect Rights. It proposes new measures that build on and strengthen governmental and corporate commitments for zero deforestation and respect for community rights.

DocumentSize
PDF icondeforestation.pdf472.11 KB

Drawing out links between the Common Agricultural Policy, soy, and deforestation in South America

The European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is fuelling tropical deforestation, according to a new report published by Fern at an event in the European Parliament yesterday. The event was hosted by MEP Maria Noichl (pictured, above), and chaired by Monika Hoegen.

Agriculture and deforestation SUMMARY REPORT

The EU Common Agricultural Policy, soy, and forest destruction

Proposals for reform - SUMMARY

The biggest cause of forest loss – accounting for around 70 per cent – is agricultural deforestation, notably for beef, soy, palm oil and commercial timber. Soy ranks as the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation after cattle products.

This 20 page summary report outlines the key findings and recommendations that emerged from a detailed study of the linkages between the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the expansion of soybean cultivation, which has been the largest source of agricultural deforestation over which the EU has a direct influence.

Agricultural commodity consumption in the EU - Soy

An area of forest the size of Portugal was lost globally between 2010 and 2015 because of EU consumption of commodities grown on deforested land, much of it illegal. Such destruction often violates the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples, causes massive biodiversity loss, and contributes to climate change. Fern is calling for an EU Action Plan to ensure imports of forest-risk commodities are legally sourced and ecologically viable.

This is the second in a series of background notes on agricultural commodities.

It will be of particular interest to journalists and those looking for an introduction to the topic.

To read a report on the EU Common Agricultural Policy, soy and deforestation click here

 

 

Pages