News / 3 February 2022

EU deforestation law can and must be stronger. Join #Together4Forests!

In the coming months, new EU regulation on deforestation-free products will be discussed in the Dutch and EU parliaments. The goal is that no more products related to deforestation in whatever way, will be imported into the EU . A very good and important initiative, but according to many civil society organisations, including Both ENDS, the bill that has now been drafted is far from sufficient.

The proposal protects forests, but does not include other crucial natural areas such as grasslands, savannas and swamps. In addition, human rights are insufficiently entrenched. The EU ministers still have the option to change the EU anti-deforestation law, which should prevent the destruction of natural areas caused byour consumption. Together with the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace Netherlands, World Animal Protection, Friends of the Earth NL and Vogelbescherming Nederland, we are asking Minister van der Wal for Nature and Nitrogen to only support a Forests Act f that truly andeffectively will protect forests and other crucial nature areas.

Together, the EU Member States are responsible for more than a third of the worldwide import of products that cause deforestation. The Netherlands, as a top importer and transit port of soy, palm oil and cocoa, has a major role in deforestation and the responsibility to stop it. A strict forest law that is properly enforced is crucial in this regard.

In 2020, the EU-wide #Together4Forests campaign started, in which a large group of organisations (including Both ENDS) asked EU citizens for input on the Forests Act, which was still in its infancy at the time. Nearly 1.2 million votes were gathered for a strong new EU legislation to ban products linked to nature destruction from the European market. This led to a revision of the law and shows that taking action together pays off!

So, time to repeat this!. Yesterday, a new Together4Forests campaign started across the EU, calling on citizens to send a letter to their own responsible ministers. And as part of the campaign, in an official statement today, more than 100 organisations in Europe and beyond are calling on the European Commission to implement an ambitious and strong forest law that will ensure truly deforestation-free products.

If you want to participate and make yourself heard: click here and send the minister an email!

If you want more information on the #Together4Forests campaign, click here.

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