Cocoa and Forests Campaigner
Julia Christian is a lawyer trained in the UK and US who has been working with Fern since 2014. She specialises in climate and development issues, and has worked on forest policy in West and Central Africa, Central America and Europe. Her current focus is on EU forest and climate policy, community forests, and cocoa production in West Africa.
Corporate Due Diligence proposal could improve access to justice, but contains fundamental weaknesses
Under the long-awaited proposed Due Diligence Directive, the majority of EU companies need not change a thing.
As the first round of EU-Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire Cocoa Talks wraps up, the way ahead is still unclear
The EU, Ghana & Cote d’Ivoire must commit to concrete actions when talks resume after autumn 2021.
What to expect when you’re forest campaigning: Upcoming EU Forest policy developments
Julia Christian, Fern’s host of the Forest Movement Europe
If it weren’t for the pandemic, this week would have seen forest activists from across Europe getting together in southern France to celebrate 30+ years of the Forest...
The EU's watershed deforestation moment?
This week Ursula von der Leyen signalled the EU’s desire to lead the world in the fight against global deforestation. But if the key drivers of deforestation aren’t addressed, progress will remain limited.
In 2021 the EU’s policy choices will shape the fate of the world’s forests
Last year changed everything, and nothing.
Almost overnight our lives were upended: businesses and economies ground to a halt, movement was constrained, and physical contact with others curbed. Yet our greatest challenge – the...
Key elements for an agreement between the EU and cocoa-producing countries, to ensure sustainability in the cocoa sector
The European Commission is exploring bilateral agreements with the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to ensure sustainability in the cocoa sector, and in particular to tackle deforestation, farmer poverty and child labour.
The COVID recovery plan for Europe: Why MEPs are our last chance to make it work for the climate
The €1.8 trillion pandemic recovery plan and long-term budget deal agreed by EU heads of government on 21 July 2020, after nearly five days of haggling, is widely seen as a political and economic landmark. But from an...
Cocoa update: farmers in West Africa could benefit from higher cocoa prices; calls intensify for EU regulation
Companies will back producer countries’ bold move to raise cocoa prices, and are also showing support for EU regulation.
Support solidifies for an EU Due Diligence Regulation
Now comes the task of separating the wheat (value chain and market access measures) from the chaff (labels).
Chocolate companies and MEPs call for EU due diligence regulation
Chocolate companies and the European Parliament are on the same page when it comes to corporate due diligence.
EU consumption of cocoa and deforestation
Cocoa consumption is a major cause of deforestation – estimated to have destroyed an area of forest the size of Belgium between 1988 and 2008.
Other problems include endemic use of child labour, local tenure conflicts, and...
Cocoa: why the European Union must act now to eliminate deforestation and child labour from the chocolate we love
European countries are the world’s largest importers of the cocoa beans whose production is devastating rainforests in West Africa and driving millions of children into child labour. To prevent this, chocolate companies and NGOs...
Virgin Atlantic: A small victory in a bigger battle
Controversy has long plagued the Oddar Meanchey carbon offset project in Cambodia.
Solid evidence has been in the public domain for years that forests supposed to be protected by the project—which has been backed by the United...
While climate change wreaks havoc, airlines hide plans to double emissions behind a widely discredited scheme.
In Bonn last month delegates from around the world discussed how to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement – which aims to tackle the greatest threat currently facing the planet.
At exactly the same time almost 6,000...
Blog: Aviation industrys carbon offsetting plans keep flying into trouble
Keeping global warming below 1.5°C - which the Paris Agreement strives to – means fundamental changes for industries from energy to transport. Yet the aviation sector - one of the planet’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2)...
Lessons learned from community forests in Mexico and Guatemala, to benefit community forest work in West and Central Africa
This paper summarises Fern staff member Julia Christian's lessons from studying community forestry in Mexico and Petén (Guatemala), from March-July 2016, hosted by the Mexican non-governmental organisation Reforestamos. To see a...