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EU Drivers: Reports

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. The EU is involved mainly because European farmers rely on imported soy from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay to use as animal feed. Of all the soy meal consumed in the EU, 83 per cent goes in concentrate feed for pigs and poultry.

As the EU embarks on another round of CAP reform – intended to shape the policy framework after 2020 – this summary report assesses the extent to which extent the CAP is driving deforestation. It also looks at how changes to the CAP and some other policies might actively reduce the deforestation footprint of EU agriculture.

You can read the full length report here.

Agriculture and deforestation

The EU Common Agricultural Policy, soy, and forest destruction

Proposals for reform

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 report looks at 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. The EU is involved mainly because European farmers rely on imported soy from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay to use as animal feed. Of all the soy meal consumed in the EU, 83 per cent goes in concentrate feed for pigs and poultry.

As the EU embarks on another round of CAP reform – intended to shape the policy framework after 2020 – this report assesses the extent to which extent the CAP is driving deforestation. It also looks at how changes to the CAP and some other policies might actively reduce the deforestation footprint of EU agriculture.

You can read a 20 page summary of the key findings of this report here.

The EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan and forests: How and why NGOs should engage

This report looks at the European Union Circular Economy Action Plan, presented in December 2015 by the European Commission as the Communication “Closing the loop - An EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy”. It assesses the relevance of the Action Plan for forests and forest-risk
commodities, and considers how non-governmental organisations could engage with EU policy in these areas.

Developing EU measures to address forest-risk commodities: What can be learned from EU regulation of other sectors?

The EU is one of the largest drivers of tropical deforestation. Consumption of agricultural commodities has given the EU a huge and largely unacknowledged footprint in the rainforests. To reduce its forest footprint, the EU must regulate European trade and consumption of forest-risk commodities such as soy, palm oil, beef, leather and cocoa.
The EU has already regulated supply chains in other sectors such as illegal timber, conflict minerals and illegal fishing. This discussion paper looks at what lessons we can learn from the regulation of these supply chains for the development of new EU measures to regulate forest-risk commodities.

DocumentSize
PDF iconDeveloping EU measures.pdf1.69 MB

Playing with Fire: Human Misery, Environmental Destruction and Summer BBQs

With temperatures soaring across Europe this summer millions have enjoyed barbecues – and will continue to do so until the last drops of warm weather. Yet few are aware of the true cost of the charcoal they fire them with.

Around 70 per cent of the charcoal used in Europe is imported and Namibia is the UK’s biggest supplier of charcoal. Today Fern releases a report, Playing with Fire: human misery, environmental destruction and summer BBQs, showing that in Namibia:

 

  • Trees are being illegally harvested on a vast scale to make charcoal.
  • Workers are operating in deplorable conditions. Many of them live in black plastic sheet dwellings without access to running water or toilets.
  • They make the charcoal in archaic kilns, which evidence shows cause massive damage to the environment - as well as to the workers’ health.
DocumentSize
PDF iconPlaying with Fire FINAL.pdf1.16 MB

Protecting Forests, Respecting Rights: Options for EU Action on deforestation and forest degradation

This report examines the EU’s “Deforestation Footprint” – its role in global deforestation. It looks at important action the EU has taken, through the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan to improve how forests are owned and managed in timber-exporting countries and to prevent imports of illegal tropical timber entering EU borders. But to achieve “zero deforestation,” as the EU has pledged to do by 2030, requires a broader plan to tackle the drivers of deforestation. Protecting Forests, Respecting Rights synthesises ten reports that each examine the deforestation-footprint of a specific area of EU policy, with the aim of helping to develop an EU Action Plan to tackle the drivers of deforestation.

For a German version of the report, please click here.

Die deutsche Version gibts hier.

The Power of Public Purchasing: making EU public procurement policy work for people and forests

This report examines how procurement policies have been applied in timber procurement and to agricultural products in public catering and food. It finds that many EU governments require publicly procured timber and timber products to be legal, as evidenced by certain certification schemes, but miss the opportunity to encourage a market for FLEGT-licensed products.

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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

 

 

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