Now is the time for greater leadership from the Commission and EU Member States to end tropical deforestation and support governance reforms. The European Parliament’s new report ‘natural resource management, the case of forests’ urges the EU towards more forest-friendly and sustainable policies on trade, climate, and aid to vulnerable countries and communities.
Is a paradigm shift required in EU policies that impact forests? The answer is a resounding yes: the report and MEPs behind it urge policymakers to do business differently through pioneering, sustainable and equitable policies that work for the environment, the climate and vulnerable communities.
Championed by Parliament Vice President Heidi Hautala and members of the Development Committee, the report reminds us that, as a trade and finance powerhouse and voracious consumer of commodities linked to forest destruction, the EU has an important responsibility to steer policies that protect forests, halt illegal logging and strengthen livelihoods, particularly for women.
Fern welcomed the report’s recommendations, which echo Fern and NGO calls for bolder and coherent action on forests. Among other things, the report insists that the EU:
- step up “efforts regarding the full and effective implementation of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements that lead to effective recognition and respect of land tenure rights of forest-dependent communities”;
- agree an “EU Action Plan on deforestation and forest degradation that ensures that no supply chains or financial transactions linked to the EU cause deforestation, forest degradation, or human rights violations”;
- include, always, “in its trade and sustainable development chapters binding and enforceable provisions to halt illegal logging, deforestation, forest degradation and land grabbing”; and
- introduce “cross-compliance criteria for animal feed in the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform to eliminate the import of forest-risk commodities from direct or indirect support in the future EU food and farming policy”.