Keeping forests standing and restoring ecosystems is essential if the world is to meet biodiversity objectives and the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. 

The EU will be an important player and has already made commitments to halt deforestation by 2020, and look into developing an EU Action Plan on Deforestation. To meet these commitments the EU must regulate its imports of agricultural commodities, support activities to improve forest governance, clarify land use, and recognise and strengthen community tenure rights over forest land.

Fern is working with scientists, academics, decision makers and NGOs to look at the elements that should make up any action plan to Protect Forests and Respect Rights. We facilitate a network of NGOs calling for an EU Action Plan on Deforestation and look at ways such an action plan could learn from previous initiatives such as Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

As one of the largest drivers of tropical deforestation, the EU must regulate its agricultural commodities imports.

The EU has already regulated supply chains in other sectors such as illegal timber, conflict minerals and illegal fishing. To reduce its forest footprint, the EU must regulate European trade and consumption of so called "forest-risk commodities" such as soy, palm oil, beef, leather and cocoa.

Fern researches the supply chains that connect EU consumers to deforestation. We also work with NGOs and companies to see how the EU regulates other supply chains and call for new EU laws that guarantee that neither products sold in the EU, nor the financial markets underpinning them, are destroying the planet’s forests and driving land grabs and other human rights abuses.

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