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Finance and trade: Briefing note

EU Investors, Land Grabs and Deforestation: Case-Studies

European banks and investors are a major source of finance for large-scale destructive agriculture; forestry; and pulp and paper projects. These often lead to forest loss, impoverishment and violations of the rights of local communities. NGOs continue to be inundated with examples of agriculture and forestry deals that kick communities off their land and cause environmental devastation. This briefing outlines five examples that illustrate how EU financiers are involved in “land grabs”. It is small sample, from a very long list.

From Rome to Lisbon: a guide to the EU and its role in developing trade and investment agreements

Liberalising investments with the aim of opening markets appears to be incompatible with sustainable development of resource-based activities. FERN has therefore published a briefing note, “From Rome to Lisbon,” a guide to the EU’s investment strategy. The guide explores the EU’s controversial role in developing investment provisions in the free trade agreements it concludes with third countries.

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PDF iconfrom rome to lisbon.pdf941.36 KB

Most recent publications

Guest Blog: Are European taxpayers funding land grabs and forest destruction?

By Mark Curtis

The central aim of European Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) is to foster growth and reduce poverty. Yet in Africa, evidence is mounting that they have funded ‘forestry’ projects which have caused deforestation, possible land grabs, and undermined communities’ livelihoods.

European Development Finance Institutions and land grabs: The need for further independent scrutiny

This study highlights the role of European Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) in possible land grabs and questionable forestry projects in Africa. It documents nine such cases involving eight of the European DFIs.

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PDF iconDFIs&LandGrabs.pdf1.5 MB

Blog: Trading in incoherence? EU trade policy needs improving to give forests, communities and the climate a fair chance

by Perrine Fournier

When it comes to global trade, it is difficult to overestimate the EU’s importance. It is the world’s second largest importer (after the US), and the second largest exporter (after China), and has an overall share of world trade larger than any other trading bloc. More than 30 million jobs in the EU rely on EU exports, and EU trade impacts the lives of many tens of millions more worldwide, not always positively.

Company promises: How businesses are meeting commitments to end deforestation

This report follows a spate of recent work examining company commitments to reduce or end their role in deforestation. What makes this report different is that it looks at the issue from the companies’ perspective, asking them why they have made these commitments; how they monitor progress; the economic costs of these commitments and, importantly, what they perceive as the barriers to achieving their commitments. The report ends with ways forward suggested by interviewees. They conclude that action is needed from companies, producer and consumer country governments and other stakeholders.

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PDF iconCompany promises.pdf4.03 MB

Major companies want more government support to end deforestation

Governments should do more to help companies whose products drive tropical deforestation, a new survey of some of the world’s biggest producers and buyers of palm oil, timber, cocoa and rubber has found.

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PDF iconCompany Commitments FINAL.pdf361.99 KB

BLOG: Anti-money laundering not an easy weapon to use against timber crime

by Mark Gregory

Estimates suggest that between 15% and 30% of the international trade in timber comes from illicit sources. Nobody knows how much criminal money this generates but the figure is certain to run into billions of dollars every year.

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