Seventy per cent of global deforestation is due to agricultural expansion, largely to produce crops and livestock for international trade. The EU is the destination for much of these agricultural commodities, and bears significant responsibility for the deforestation embodied in them. Worse, as revealed in our report Stolen Goods: EU complicity in illegal Tropical Deforestation much of that deforestation is illegal.
Protecting Forests, Respecting Rights: Options for EU action on deforestation and forest degradation examines the EU’s “Deforestation Footprint” – its role in global deforestation. It looks at important action the EU has taken, through the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, to improve how forests are owned and managed in timber-exporting countries and to prevent illegal timber entering the EU market. But to achieve “zero deforestation,” as the EU has pledged to do by 2030, requires a broader plan to tackle the drivers of deforestation. Protecting Forests, Respecting Rights synthesises ten reports that each examine the deforestation-footprint of a specific area of EU policy, with the aim of helping to develop an EU Action Plan to tackle the drivers of deforestation.