A Forest Pledge, calling on future Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to promote policies that protect and restore the world’s forests, was launched at the European Parliament on 21 March to celebrate International Day of Forests. The Pledge is endorsed by more than 40 international NGOs as well as globally renowned writers, filmmakers, activists and environmentalists.
With EU elections approaching in May, candidate MEPs are asked to pledge that they will promote policies that “protect and restore forests worldwide and recognise and secure forest peoples’ territories and their rights, including the rights of women, for generations to come.”
Several current MEPs helped launch the Pledge, which is endorsed by experts and activists including Sônia Guajajara, Brazil’s foremost Indigenous Peoples’ leader, award-winning US novelist Richard Powers, forester and New York Times’ best-selling author Peter Wohlleben (who spoke at the launch event), and the biologist Emmanuelle Grundmann.
The Pledge was also presented during an evening debate organised in Paris, on 22 March, by the French organisation Canopée. It was attended by candidates standing for the EU elections, who committed to putting forests and the rights of forest communities high on their agenda if elected.
The Pledge is still open for signatures and endorsements from those who want to ensure future generations will have access to healthy forests.