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Transformative traceability: How robust traceability systems can help implement the EUDR and fight the drivers of deforestation

29 Mai 2024

Transformative traceability: How robust traceability systems can help implement the EUDR and fight the drivers of deforestation

The success of the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products (EUDR) will depend on our ability to trace the goods it is focussed on. While traceability is only a means to an end, the end goal is an essential part of tackling the climate crisis – protected forests and community rights.

So how can traceability improve monitoring of deforestation and rights infractions in forested countries, as well as enforcement of important laws?

The answer can be found in our new report, “Transformative traceability: How robust traceability systems can help implement the EUDR and fight the drivers of deforestation.”

By analysing the current approaches to traceability, the report offers a set of 10 criteria for enhancing the effectiveness and credibility of such systems. It highlights the importance of prioritising collective traceability efforts over individual company initiatives, advocating for regional or national systems to cross-check information across supply chains. 

The 10 criteria include:

  • Seven criteria for a credible traceability system: These criteria are essential for a trustworthy traceability system, including: the use of robust and verified data, public accessibility of the system including for NGO monitors, multistakeholder co-design, periodic independent audits, the inclusion of grievance mechanisms, and smallholder data control.
  • Three criteria for transformative systems: To drive meaningful change on the ground, the system should also: track information important to all stakeholders including in producer countries, link to enforcement and remedial actions, and provide positive incentives for sustainable producers. 

In comparing public and private systems, the report argues that, in the long-term, public traceability systems should be prioritised and incentivised—as they reduce costs, enhance credibility, and generate greater impact in reducing deforestation than multiple private systems do. In the shorter term, where public systems are not ready or not planned at all, actors should focus on making private systems interoperable to facilitate collective efficiency and transparency. 

The report concludes with key recommendations for different actors:

  • Producer Country Governments: Develop public traceability systems in line with 10 criteria, make datasets available, ensure interoperability, and establish long-term cost-sharing mechanisms with companies.
  • European Commission: Encourage and incentivise robust public systems, promote standardised data protocols, and support interoperability.
  • Companies: Share data, support interoperable approaches, review internal systems against the 10 criteria, and contribute financially to public system development.

Read the executive summary Read the report

Kategorien: Reports, EU Regulation on deforestation-free products

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