Trade between the EU and countries that produce timber and forest risk commodities contributes to global forest loss and undermines community rights. Low import tariffs raise demand for leather, palm oil, beef and other products grown and raised on deforested land. Such destruction is enabled by inadequate environmental and social safeguards.
The EU is negotiating Free Trade Agreements with Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay - all forested countries with high levels of biodiversity. Fern is working to ensure EU trade and investment policies are negotiated in a transparent and inclusive manner, respect human rights and help meet forest protection and climate objectives. We work with NGO coalitions to keep track of Free Trade Agreements and ensure they won’t have a negative effect on forests.
Trade related resources
Detoxifying palm oil
How European Union policy could remove deforestation and human rights violations from the palm oil trade with Indonesia
Palm oil is omnipresent in our lives due to its wide range of uses. It is also the focus of many campaigns because of the detrimental impacts its production has on forests and forest-dependent communities. These campaigns have convinced many governments and businesses that coherent action in needed. As one of the world’s biggest importers of palm oil, the European Union (EU) is a large part of the problem, but it could also be an important part of the solution. For example, around 60 per cent of all palm oil is produced in Indonesia, and much of it is imported to the EU. The EU and Indonesia should therefore deliver trade and development policies which ensure palm oil production respects indigenous peoples’ and community rights and doesn’t harm forests.
What comes first with the EU-Vietnam trade deal, rights or ratification?
Guest Blog: Campaigner Lindsay Duffield explains some of the challenges ahead to make sure the EU-Vietnam trade agreement doesn‘t undermine human rights or climate change commitments.
Five EU forest trends to watch out for in 2020
In 2019, forests and forest peoples’ rights rose up the global political – and spiritual - agenda, and the EU made high profile commitments to protect forests abroad and at home as part of their European Green Deal. But will 2020 see such commitments turned into action? Here are five questions we hope to give positive answers to at the end of the year.