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An EU strategic framework for working with countries to achieve deforestation-free production

23 January 2023

An EU strategic framework for working with countries to achieve deforestation-free production

This paper outlines options for partnerships to accompany the new EU Regulation on deforestation-free products.

Why should the EU pursue such partnerships? Partnerships would reduce some of the remaining risks the Regulation hasn’t solved:

  1. Risk that products continue to drive deforestation but are just sold to other consumer markets
  2. Risk that smallholders bear the cost of implementing the Regulation.

Partnerships with producer countries would also maximise effectiveness of the Regulation and help decrease global deforestation.

We welcome the EU’s commitment to develop a Strategic Framework to guide partnerships and make clear how existing work in producer countries fits together with new work linked to the Regulation. Our paper provides options for what the Strategic Framework could include and how partnerships should be structured.

We analysed the incentives that could encourage implementation of partnerships. Without strong incentives, partnerships are unlikely to have a game-changing effect. In particular, we considered linking progress to deforestation-risk benchmarking, recognising national traceability systems in benchmarking, establishing a sustainable transition fund, removing EU and Member State policy barriers that prevent smallholders from receiving a living income, and establishing joint dialogues with other importing countries.


The paper was co-developed by the Association Camerounaise pour la Promotion de l'Education et du Développement (Cameroon), Civic Response (Ghana), the Environmental Investigation Agency (UK), Foder (Cameroon), Fair Trade Advocacy Office (Belgium), Fern (Belgium), Green Development Advocates (Cameroon), Initiatives pour le Développement communautaire et la conservation de la Forêt (Cote d’Ivoire), the Institute for Economic, Cultural and Social Rights (Indonesia), Milieudefensie (Netherlands), Rainforest Alliance, Solidaridad (Netherlands), Synaparcam (Cameroon), Tropenbos International (Netherlands) and Verdens Skove (Denmark).

Categories: Briefing Notes, Sustainable Supply Chains

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