This briefing endorsed by Client Earth, the Environmental Investigation Agency, Fern, Forest Peoples Programme, and Transparency International details what the EU can do to ensure that healthy forests contribute to local livelihoods, improved governance, and development and climate objectives.
It calls for an adequate European support for protecting forests and strengthening the rights of forest communities, including ensuring effective implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, and adopting additional measures to halt deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics.
More specifically, the undersigned organisations recommend that the European Commission, in cooperation with EU Members States:
1. Reinvigorate support for Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) and the EU Timber Regulation implementation.
2. Uphold human rights including gender equality in VPAs
3. Adopt additional regulatory measures to tackle the deforestation crisis and protect rights
4. Strengthen linkages between FLEGT and the climate and Sustainable Development Goals agendas
5. Use trade as a lever to support human rights and protect forests