Calling upon candidate EU Members of Parliament to protect forests, its people an biodiversity
Almost 100 candidate EU Members of Parliament have signed a pledge drafted and endorsed by European NGOs and prominent individuals in which they commit - once elected - to promoting policies to protect and restore forests worldwide and to recognising and securing forest peoples’ territories and their rights, including the rights of women, for generations to come. The organisers hope to get many more signatures before the EU elections, to make sure the new EU parliament will start treating these topics with high urgency as soon as it is installed.
Imagine a world without forests. Natural forests are the basis of life itself. They create soil, maintain the water cycle and are a vast source of nutrients. They make the weather, cool the climate and protect us from hurricanes, droughts and floods, which are intensifying as the planet warms up. They feed and shelter more creatures than we can count.
They are a home to 300 million forest people, sustain a diversity of cultures and provide livelihoods for one fifth of humanity. Spending even a short time in a forest can improve your mental and physical health by reducing blood pressure and stress.
They inspire our children, offering the starting point of many of our most cherished fairy tales, folklores and myths. Healthy forests can also boost economies, by supporting tourism and providing everything from timber to fruit and nuts to vegetables, fish, meat and medicine.
Yet the threats against them are multiplying – in 2017 we lost more trees than in almost any year on record. EU finance and imports of timber, palm oil, soy, beef, paper, cocoa and other commodities are causing vast deforestation and forest degradation. In many places, forests are being converted to tree plantations, losing their value for people, climate and nature.
In the EU, forests are losing carbon fast, in part due to increased harvesting for bioenergy. Even the most valuable primary forests are not spared, even when they sit in protected areas.
Continuing on this path of destruction will put globally-agreed targets to limit climate change definitively out of reach. The world over, scientists are saying that forests must be protected and restored, because of their important role in sequestering and storing carbon.
The EU has both the power and responsibility to make a real difference. I therefore pledge that if I am elected as a Member of the European Parliament, I will promote policies to protect and restore forests worldwide and recognise and secure forest peoples’ territories and their rights, including the rights of women, for generations to come.
More information about the pledge and about the signing candidates::
Read more about this subject
News / 2 August 2019
EU unveils 'Action Plan' on Deforestation
The EU is still one of the world’s largest importers of deforestation: EU demand for commodities like soy, palm oil, beef, coffee and cacao requires millions of hectares of tropical rainforest to be cleared. This deforestation has significant biodiversity and climate impacts, and is often linked to human rights violations and violence against local communities and indigenous peoples. Both ENDS and partners have been actively lobbying the EU Commission to adopt a robust action plan to address and prevent human rights violations and deforestation ‘embodied’ in EU imports of agricultural commodities.
News / 14 June 2019
Both ENDS partner TUK presents symbolic tree to Dutch minister Schouten
Last Thursday June 13, Rahmawati Retno Winarni of TUK, an Indonesian partner organisation of Both ENDS, presented a symbolic tree and an appeal to the Dutch Minister of Agriculture Carola Schouten, also on behalf of 10 NGOs. The joint NGOs are pushing the EU, including the Dutch government, for strict EU legislation to prevent the destruction of forests and ecosystems and to protect human rights.
Press release / 14 December 2020
Record submissions to public consultation urge EU to act on deforestation
Brussels, Belgium - 14 December
A landmark 1,193,652 submissions to the EU's public consultation on deforestation were handed over to the European Commission this afternoon, all of which demanded a strong EU law to protect the world's forests and the rights of people who depend on them. The one million+ submissions have made this the largest public consultation on environmental issues in the history of the EU, and the second largest ever.
News / 11 September 2020
Have your say on the EU’s deforestation policy
The world's forests are under threat. Remaining forests – havens of precious biodiversity and the lungs of the planet – are being cleared to make way for beef, soy, sugar and palm oil production, mining and other industrial activities, fuelled by increasing demand from Europe and other countries. But the good news is: you can help stop the destruction!
Blog / 18 January 2019
Unambitious and uninspiring: the European Commission’s proposal for stepping-up action on global deforestation
After five years of equivocation the European Commission has proposed a ‘roadmap’ for stepping-up EU action to address its contribution to global deforestation. Despite the escalating impact of EU trade in forest-risk commodities, regardless of repeated calls from the European Parliament for regulatory measures and contrary to the conclusions of the Commission’s own feasibility study in support of legislative intervention, the Commission has ruled-out out any new initiatives, let alone any legislative measures. The Commission’s solution to this complex problem: policy coherence.
Press release / 11 September 2020
Press release: Golden opportunity to stop deforestation caused by EU consumption
100+ NGOs launch #Together4Forests urging EU action
Fires raging in the Amazon are started deliberately to make way for large-scale industrial agriculture – and EU market demand for commodities produced on former-forest land is adding fuel to the fires. Globally, the EU is responsible for over 10% of forest destruction through its consumption of commodities like meat, dairy, soy for animal feed, palm oil, coffee and cacao.
Letter / 18 October 2022
Letter to the EU to call for strong EU regulation on deforestation-free products
140+ organisations call on the European Ministers, Commissioners and members of the European Parliament to adopt a strong EU regulation on deforestation-free products. As "trilogue negotiations" on this law begin, we ask you to support a law that lives up to the promises of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals and upholds the EU's commitments on climate, biodiversity and human rights.
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.
News / 29 June 2020
Global civil society pushes for mandatory environmental and human rights rules in the EU
On 23 July 2020 a global network of NGOs working to strengthen corporate accountability for environmental destruction and human rights abuses, including Both ENDS, published an open letter to European Commission DG Justice Commissioner Reynders. The letter is a response to his recent commitment to propose legislation in 2021 on both corporate due diligence and directors’ duties as part of an initiative on sustainable corporate governance.
News / 16 October 2020
Restoring forests, “free supermarkets” for Cameroon’s inhabitants
To Eric Wirsiy, director of CENDEP, the importance of forests is clear: not only do they function as a "free supermarket", providing foods and other things to local communities, but they are crucial to make landscapes resilient to climate change and other impacts.
News / 28 February 2018
Human Rights defenders from all over the world visit EU to call for strong measures against deforestation
This week, from 12 until 16 February, fourteen indigenous leaders and human rights defenders from forest countries came to the Netherlands to call upon Dutch policy makers to take serious action against human rights abuses, land grabbing and further deforestation in relation to large scale agriculture, timber logging and mining. The Dutch harbours of Rotterdam and Amsterdam receive enormeous amounts of soy and palm oil, both for the Dutch market and for further transport into Europe and elswhere.
News / 15 October 2020
Land rights for Indigenous Peoples to protect their forests
Institut Dayakologi works to preserve Indigenous Peoples' livelihoods and cultures in West Kalimantan. One of their central goals is to gain ancestral land rights for Indigenous communities. This is not only essential for the security of these communities, but also for the forests and ecosystems on which they depend for their livelihood, identity, culture and customs.
Publication / 2 December 2014
Publication / 11 July 2019
Publication / 27 June 2018
Publication / 28 February 2018
Publication / 26 August 2020
Publication / 27 January 2015
News / 26 January 2022
Ondiri shines again during World Wetlands Day
Ondiri wetland in Kenya will host the official national World Wetlands Day
celebration on the 2nd of February. This news was received with much joy by the residents of Kikuyu Town and conservationists. For many years, Ondiri Wetland was
polluted and degraded, especially due to encroachment and greenhouse farming. But thanks to sustained and concerted efforts by the residents together with a broad range of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, the conservation of this critical wetland is now being secured. Violet Matiru from Kenyan organisation Millennium Community Development Initiatives (MCDI), finds it a great honor that Ondiri was selected for the celebrations. "The cherry on the pie!"
Publication / 8 April 2019