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EU Drivers: NGO Statements

Civil society statement on an EU Action Plan on Deforestation: All eyes on the European Commission as crucial decision due “in a matter of weeks”

In the coming weeks, the European Commission is set to make a momentous decision about the fate of the world’s forests. The decision rests on whether the EU will develop an Action Plan on deforestation and degradation, as envisaged by the Council and Parliament in 2013 in the context of the 7th EU Environment Action Programme. 
 
In this common statement, NGOs call on the Commission to commit to developing a formal action plan, including legislative measures, as soon as possible within the course of the coming months.
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PDF iconOpen letter_EUAPD_FINAL.pdf475.33 KB

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.

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PDF icondeforestation.pdf472.11 KB

NGOs call on MEPs to vote in favour of the own initiative report on Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rainforests

Twelve NGOs have come together to ask MEPs to vote in favour of the own initiative report on Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rainforests on 4 April. The NGOs particularly welcome the call for an EU Action Plan on Deforestation and Forest Degradation on the grounds that as a major consumer and a hub of international finance, the EU has a special responsibility. The NGOs believe the own initiative report takes the EU one step closer towards regulatory action to remove deforestation from the EU’s supply chains and to stop banks and other financial institutions funding deforestation. The NGO letter comes out at the same time as a letter from palm oil producing countries, asking MEPs to reject the own initiative report.

Civil Society Statement on the Reform of European Agricultural Policies: Good Food, Good Farming – Now

A Common Statement on the Reform of European Agricultural Policies from civil society organisations ahead of today's meeting on Monday 6 March 2017.

The Statement is co-signed by 137 European civil society organisations from 25 EU countries, representing environmental and social justice networks, organic farmers, pastoralists, peasants, sustainable forestry groups, health groups, animal welfare organisations, consumer rights bodies, development, fair-trade, cultural heritage and rural development organisations, consumer co-operatives, sustainable tourism and crafts associations.

In light of the upcoming discussions on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy post 2020, we call on EU Member States to radically reform agricultural policies so that they can enable a transition towards a food and farming system which supports fair and diverse food and farming economies, respects the environment and animal welfare, ensures its meat and animal feed are free from illegal deforestation, supports citizens’ health, and is publicly accountable.

Letter to Commissioner Hogan re: commitment to promote meat consumption

Twelve NGOs have written to the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development to express concerns about his commitment to invest in promoting meat consumption in Europe and European beef in foreign markets.

Fern's input to the EU Consultation on revising the European Consensus on Development

Fern's input into the European Commission consultation on how development policy, in the context of EU external action as foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty, should respond to the range of landmark 2015 summits and conferences, and also to the rapid changes happening in the world.

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PDF iconFern response to consultation.pdf107.78 KB

Letter to agriculture ministers for European Council meeting on FLEGT

This letter to agricultural ministers thanks them for their actions to control illegal logging and encourages them to ensure all forest risk commodities’ supply chains consist of only legally and sustainably sourced products, free from deforestation, and develop an EU Action Plan on deforestation and forest degradation, to ensure policy coherence across different sectors.

It is available in German, English, French and Spanish.

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Most recent publications

Agricultural commodity consumption in the EU - Cocoa

Cocoa consumption is a major cause of deforestation – estimated to have destroyed an area of forest the size of Belgium between 1988 and 2008. Other problems include endemic use of child labour, local tenure conflicts, and extreme poverty among cocoa farmers and their families. As the world’s largest importer, manufacturer and consumer of cocoa and cocoa products, the European Union (EU) has a special responsibility to help tackle these issues. Fern is calling for the EU to take action to ensure cocoa imports don’t cause deforestation, and pay farmers a fair income.

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

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PDF iconCocoa_briefing_paper_WEB.pdf1.23 MB

Why agroecology should be the buzzword in EU farm policy negotiations

By Nicole Polsterer

The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) revision may be being negotiated 1000s of miles away from the sun-drenched fields in Brazil, but decisions made in Europe will have a huge effect on how such land is used.

At the end of 2017 I was able to see two very different forms of farming first-hand. One - endless biodiversity free lines of soya was destined to fatten European livestock, the other small-scale Acai berries grown within biodiversity rich forest.

I was thinking of both as I attended the United Green Left and Nordic Green Left conference Building a Manifesto for a Green and Fair CAP.

Representatives from the health, environment, animal welfare, sustainable trade, development, and agroforestry fields were meeting to convince the European Commission to make fundamental changes.

And change is certainly needed - European agriculture is in a dismal state. The average age of a European farmer is 65; 25 per cent have quit farming in the past decade; biodiversity in Europe is declining; water pollution due to run off of fertilizers is a threat to public health; and the EU imports 14 million tonnes of soya form Brazil annually, much of it grown on illegally deforested land. CAP reform could help young farmers and those transitioning to ecological practises; instead they are being driven by industrial interests.

The right to agroecology: Using the law to support sustainable farming in Brazil

This publication shows how existing national and international legal frameworks can support sustainable agriculture in Brazil, thereby reducing pressure to convert forests to large plantations.

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.

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PDF iconinternet version.pdf1.94 MB

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