Finance and trade
Fern wants EU financial institutions to stop funding forest destruction and human rights abuses.
The financial sector plays a crucial role in enabling activities that lead to forest loss and unfair treatment of forest communities, including providing project finance and financial services that enable forest loss. The EU financial sector’s role in funding and facilitating the expansion of large scale environmentally and socially destructive agriculture is significant.
Fern works to curb this negative impact by strengthening the framework of laws, rules and accepted practices governing how EU banks and Financial Institutions handle investments and transactions relating to forests and forest communities, especially land tenure. We research ways that Anti-Money Laundering rules can be used to tackle illicit money flows related to illegal logging.
Fern’s research has been compiled into a blueprint for an Action Plan on deforestation: ‘Protecting Forests, Respecting Rights’. ‘Clearcut, making EU financial institutions work for forests and people’ showed that the top 20 EU-based financial institutions (including banks, institutional investors and alternative investment funds) have provided nearly USD 18 billion of outstanding loans and underwriting services to foreign agriculture companies based in developing countries.
‘Taking Stock’ reveals the potential negative impact that public financing through Development Finance Institutions are having on forests and peoples.