IATE Term of the Week – Deforestation

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Deforestation

Deforestation plays a considerable role in climate change and biodiversity loss. In the past 30 years, the total area of lost forests amounts to the size of a country like Libya. One of the main reasons for deforestation is mainly driven by the expansion of agricultural activities (production of soy, beef meat and palm oil in particular). Tackling climate change issues is among the Union’s priorities. As part of the Commission’s strategy and as a response to the European Parliament’s request, the Commission launched an in-depth study for assessing the impact of EU consumption habits on deforestation. The findings of this study from 2011 reveal that:

  • For the period 1990-2008, the EU is responsible for 7-10% of the global consumption of crops and products contributing most to deforestation.
  • The consumption of oil crops and derived products, as well as meat plays a major role in the EU’s impact on global deforestation

Improving the status of EU forests is now part of the implementation strategy of the European Green Deal.

Deforestation IATE search 1
Deforestation IATE search 2
IATE search Deforestation.

The European Parliament took the initiative to draft a legislative report seeking proposals from the Commission and the Council on an EU legal framework that will help to curb the process of deforestation. The rapporteur recommended that the Commission presents a legislative proposal for mandatory due diligence for forest and ecosystem-risk commodities being placed on the Union market. The proposed legal framework could follow the model of the EU Timber Regulation, with an improved implementation and enforcement mechanism, and should include further requirements (going beyond the legality of sourcing the commodities in the country of origin to include sustainability criteria and human rights protection). End of October 2020 the European Parliament adopted the legislative-initiative report in plenary by 377 votes in favour, 75 against and 243 abstentions.

Setting up a forest protection policy on an EU level is one of the prerequisites in achieving the EU goals towards combating climate change issues. The EU Commission has already prepared a detailed roadmap for implementing the pledge to plant 3 billion additional trees by 2030 in the EU. This week “deforestation” is among the working topics within the European Parliament. Its Environment Committee will discuss with Commissioner Sinkevičius the proposed new legislation that the European  Parliament called for in order to diminish deforestation by obliging companies placing products on the EU market to carry out due diligence.

Reference:

1. Consumption Impact Study – Forests – Environment – European Commission. 2021. Consumption Impact Study – Forests – Environment – European Commission. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/impact_deforestation.htm. [Accessed 18 November 2021].

2. European Parliament. 2021. Legislative train schedule | European Parliament. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-environment-public-health-and-food-safety-envi/file-eu-driven-global-deforestation. [Accessed 18 November 2021].

3. Programm | Aktuelles | EP. 2021. Programm | Aktuelles | EP. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/de/agenda. [Accessed 18 November 2021]. 4. European Commission Annex COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS, {SWD(2021) 651 final} – {SWD(2021) 652 final} . 16.7.2021. [ONLINE] Available at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:0d918e07-e610-11eb-a1a5-01aa75ed71a1.0001.02/DOC_2&format=PDF

4. European Commission Annex COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS, {SWD(2021) 651 final} – {SWD(2021) 652 final} . 16.7.2021. [ONLINE] Available at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:0d918e07-e610-11eb-a1a5-01aa75ed71a1.0001.02/DOC_2&format=PDF


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Written by Daniela Ignatova

She holds degrees in both Public Relations and European Governance. Currently, Daniela is combining her passion for communications and social media with her interest in the work of European institutions.