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Protecting forests, respecting rights: Highlights

Highlights from Fern's conference looking at what should be in an EU action plan to end deforestion. To read Fern's proposal visit:

Issue 204

  • The Dutch show the way: Debate on biomass becomes burning matter
  • MEPs condemn land grabs
  • Subsidies to forest destruction dwarf REDD+ funding
  • No more forest destruction: Norway’s largest pension fund sets an example
  • CAR’s reconciliation forum takes critical steps on governance
  • Local farmers unite internationally against confiscation of their lands
  • Comment now: Four EU public consultations relevant to forests

EU must work on Land as Resource communication in 2016 work programme

Land is the hidden resource that sustains every aspect of our society, from food to products, buildings and energy. Yet the EU appears unaware of the real scale of its land consumption, as well as the environmental, social and economic impacts.

Tackling our land footprint would also help the EU reach its targets to halt biodiversity loss by 2020 and end deforestation by 2030. Fern and 17 NGOs urge the European Commission to ensure that a Land as a Resource Communication is included in next year’s Commission’s Work Programme. 

Time to Rethink? A Critique of Rural Land Law in Côte d’Ivoire

The objective of this paper is to critique rural land law and forest law in Côte d’Ivoire from an Africa-wide perspective. The paper starts with an overview of customary land tenure across Africa, and different countries’ approaches to achieving legal protection.

Time to rethink.pdf2.23 MB

EU sends mixed messages on forests

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution to the EU Forest Strategy which emphasises the role of forests for Europe’s future energy mix. Fern believes promoting wood biomass for energy will have a serious impact on European forests, which are already under pressure due to growing demand for biomass, and on forests in other regions that feed the EU’s subsidised hunger for wood pellets.

Pitfalls and potentials: the role of bioenergy in the EU climate and energy policy post 2020

This position paper from Fern and 10 other NGOs argues that the EU should limit bioenergy use in achieving the 2030 renewable energy target, and should introduce safeguards to avoid negative impacts on the environment, people and the climate.

Seeing the Forests Through the Trees: VPA-led Transparency in Five African Countries

2015 sees the ten-year review of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Action Plan, which makes it a good time to reassess the extent to which VPAs have delivered on their promise of increased transparency in forest management, and for civil society to show how they have used information.

Response to allegations by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) re: Stolen Goods

On 9 April 2015, the MPOC released an article attacking Fern's report "Stolen Goods". Fern refutes the accusations levelled at the report, and has produced this response to their criticisms.

Response to allegations by MPOC.pdf373.95 KB

Conference: Protecting forests, respecting rights

On 30 March 2015, Fern hosted a conference looking at how to develop an EU Action Plan on Deforestation. This is important as the EU's consumption of agricultural commodities and timber has resulted in the destruction of at least 9 million hectares of forest, equivalent to the size of Ireland, over the period 1990 - 2008.