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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.

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’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.

Community forests: A discussion document for Fern and partners

Anyone who works with forest dwellers across the world asks themselves the following question at some point or another: Can community forests be a viable alternative to industrial logging? If so, what form would this alternative take and is it achievable? This report seeks to analyse this question in the hope of clearing up the debates and discussions between Fern’s various partners.

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.

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PDF icon Developing EU measures.pdf1.69 MB

Going Negative - How carbon sinks could cost the Earth

The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change was a landmark, which put the use of land-based sinks such as forests at the heart of the global blueprint for stemming global warming.

This raises two problems.

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PDF icon Going negative version 2.pdf3.04 MB

A dangerous delusion: Debunking the myths around sustainable forests and the EU’s bioenergy policy

A Dangerous Delusion exposes the myth that problems don’t exist with biomass from Europe’s forests – where the EU sources most of its biomass – because they are managed sustainably. It includes case studies on Sweden, Romania, Germany and Latvia, underlining the huge disparity in the way forests are managed across Europe.

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PDF icon Dangerous Delusions2.6 MB

Financing land grabs and deforestation: the role of EU banks and investors

Fern's latest research shows that European Union-based banks and investors have played a massive role in financing companies at the heart of concerns about land grabbing and tropical deforestation. We looked in depth at the sources of funding for 23 of the world's biggest agriculture companies, including leading palm oil producers and traders. Click here for the full report.

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PDF icon Financing land grabs final.pdf2.85 MB

A comparison of national sustainability schemes for solid biomass in the EU

There are no harmonised sustainability criteria for bioenergy or the sourcing of biomass across the European Union (EU). EU Member States have therefore largely relied on domestic Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) rules to guide the way they source biomass.

Scoping Study on EU-China Relationships in the Forestry Sector

China’s rapid economic growth has spurred a massive demand for natural resources – including timber, agricultural commodities and minerals – the vast bulk of which are imported. Although it is estimated that the proportion of China’s imports of illegally sourced timber has fallen, the total volume of illegally sourced timber nearly doubled from 17 million in 2005 to 33 million m3 in 2013. A substantial part of these imports is exported to Europe.

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PDF icon EU China forest relationship.pdf4.89 MB

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