Member States urge Commission to get real about fighting deforestation
Posted on 16 December 2019
Member States welcome the European Commission’s Communication on deforestation and urge the European Commission to take action.
At their meeting in Brussels today, EU Agriculture and Fisheries ministers expressed their deep concern about insufficient policies globally to stop deforestation and forest degradation. They called for better implementation of the European Commission’s plan to tackle deforestation and the EU’s footprint abroad.
WWF agrees that urgent action is needed to address deforestation worldwide. It also agrees that the European Commission should come forward with coherent, concrete and timebound actions and initiatives. However, just ‘assessing’ possible legislation, as ministers called for today, is not enough. We urgently need a new law that guarantees consumers that what ends up on their plate does not come from the destruction of forests or other ecosystems such as grasslands and savannahs, which are all affected by the EU's footprint abroad.
Andreas Baumüller, Head of Natural Resources at WWF EPO: “It is good to see that the EU Member States support tackling deforestation, but asking for a “fast track assessment” of potential legislation is not enough: it's time to stop assessing and take concrete next steps. Member States should request that the European Commission come forward with a proposal for a new law. Only new legislative power will reduce EU’s consumption footprint and stop deforestation and forest degradation.”
WWF also agrees with Member State conclusions that support for countries the EU imports from is needed to address the underlying drivers of deforestation and ecosystem destruction and also that cooperation with other consumer countries on how to best turn the tide is necessary.