EU agenda for global forests – Getting the balance right

The EU engagement in negotiating Forest Partnerships for the period 2022-2027 is expected to deliver on the European Green Deal priorities as well as the EU’s development cooperation objectives, including poverty alleviation and human rights.

In its resolution on the European Green Deal, the European Parliament called on the Commission ‘to present, without delay, a proposal for a European legal framework based on due diligence to ensure sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains for products placed on the EU market, with a particular focus on tackling the main drivers of imported deforestation and instead encouraging imports that do not create deforestation abroad’.

As the timber trade continues to boom and land is cleared for agricultural purposes, forest areas are constantly shrinking.

While supporting the end goal of the European Union in cutting the link with imported deforestation, some stakeholders, including industry, wonder about the consequences that this legislation could have on ongoing efforts to improve practices with third country actors.

“Cleaning up” supply chains will remain a key priority of the EU. But industry argues that the process should build on existing actions and rely on a ‘smart mix’ of different measures, which requires the establishment of solid partnerships and mutual understanding with producing countries.

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