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.
#Together4Forests, a group of 100+ NGOs, is urging citizens to take part in a European Commission public consultation on deforestation to push for a strong EU law to keep products linked to deforestation, forest fires, nature destruction and human rights violations off the European market.
Anke Schulmeister-Oldenhove, Senior Forest Policy Officer at WWF EU said: "Products containing deforestation are in our shopping trolley. This must stop! Forests and other ecosystems across the world are an essential shield against climate breakdown, pandemics and the biodiversity crash, but EU consumption is weakening that shield. We urge the EU to introduce a strong law to keep forest destruction products off the market."
WWF together with Greenpeace, ClientEarth, Conservation International, Environmental Investigation Agency and Wildlife Conservation Society, have now launched a campaign to ensure that citizens have the opportunity to make their voice heard.
Deforestation is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Agriculture is responsible for 80% of deforestation for products like soy, beef and palm oil, and the EU is a top importer. According to the European Commission, in 2019 the EU accounted for 17% of global demand for palm oil, 15% of soy, 25% of rubber, 41% of beef, 80% of cocoa and 60% of coffee.
The European Commission has pledged to propose new legislation to address deforestation in 2021. But to avoid shifting the destruction of nature to other vital natural habitats, it must also protect grasslands, savannahs and wetlands, as well as forests.
The law must also protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities – they are recognised stewards of their lands and their knowledge is crucial to preventing biodiversity loss. Stopping deforestation will not be possible without them.
The #Together4Forests movement is calling on the EU to introduce a new law to tackle its contribution to global deforestation and to ensure that nothing sold in Europe contributes to forest or ecosystem destruction, or related human rights abuses.
- Learn more about deforestation and this movement: https://together4forests.eu/
- Supporting organisations can be found here [add link] - this movement is still growing every day
In the Netherlands, the campaign is supported by Greenpeace, Wereld Natuur Fonds (WWF), IUCN-NL, Vogelbescherming Nederland, Tropenbos International and Both ENDS.
WWF is taking care of press requests for this campaign in the Netherlands:
Press officer Wereld Natuur Fonds (WWF)
Read more about this subject
Press release / 14 December 2020
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
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News / 2 August 2019
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News / 29 June 2020
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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.
News / 15 October 2020
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News / 3 February 2022
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.
Press release / 6 May 2019
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News / 16 October 2020
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 / 14 June 2019
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Letter / 18 October 2022
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 / 18 June 2019
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News / 15 May 2018
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News / 28 June 2018
Last week, indigenous leaders from various countries were in Paris to urge action on deforestation and human rights abuses at the multi-stakeholder meeting of the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership. The group, invited by Forests Peoples Programme and Both ENDS, presented a publication 'Supply chain solutions for people and forests' containing a set of practical recommendations from local communities on how to make supply chains more sustainable and fair.
Publication / 28 February 2018
Event / 12 May 2019, 20:00 - 22:00
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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.
External link / 20 July 2021
Systemic change is urgently needed to protect the Earth's forests and the rights of forest peoples. Deforestation and forest degradation are driven by global demand for products like palm oil and soy. Tackling the problem requires not reduced demand and better policies and practices at international levels, but also improved recognition of community land rights – a key focus of our work with partners in 2020.
Publication / 18 November 2013
Publication / 27 January 2015