Home News The European Union prohibits the import of products resulting from deforestation

The European Union prohibits the import of products resulting from deforestation

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The European Parliament and EU member states reached an agreement on the night of Monday 5 to Tuesday 6 December to ban the import of several products into the EU, such as cocoa, coffee or soy, when they contribute to deforestation.

The parliament said in a press release that palm oil, wood, beef and rubber were also affected, in addition to many related materials (leather, chocolate, furniture, printed paper, coal, etc.).

sequel after announcement

Their import will be prohibited if these products come from lands deforested after December 2020, taking into account the damage to not only primary forests, but to all forests.

In the Amazon, all you have to do is replant trees…really?

Importing companies will be responsible for their own supply chain and will have to prove traceability via crop geolocation data, which can be linked to satellite imagery.

“This is a world first! It’s our breakfast coffee, the chocolate we eat, the charcoal in our barbecues, the paper in our books. It’s extreme.”Pascal Canvin (Renewal, Liberal), Chair of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament, welcomed.

Possible extension to other products within two years

At the origin of 16% of the world’s deforestation through its imports, the European Union is the second destroyer of tropical forests after China, according to the NGO WWF.

sequel after announcement

The text was proposed in November 2021 by the European Commission, and was taken up in broad outlines by Member States, but MEPs voted in September to strengthen it significantly, by expanding the range of products involved – notably rubber, in the absence of the original proposal.

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon has slowed over the course of a year (yes, but…)

The European Parliament has also called for the text to be broadened to include other threatened wooded ecosystems, such as the Cerrado Savannah (Brazil/Paraguay/Bolivia), from which a portion of European soybean imports come.

The agreement reached between the negotiators from Parliament and the States, after long negotiations, finally provides for this extension to other forests It must be evaluated no later than one year after the entry into force of the provision.

Likewise, after two years, the committee is asked to study the possible extension of the scope to other products (such as maize, which MEPs wanted to target immediately), to other ecosystems rich in storing carbon emissions and biodiversity (peat bogs, etc.), but also to the sector Financial – another strong request from the MEPs.

sequel after announcement

in contrast, “We have already come to a much stronger definition of what it means for forest degradation to cover large areas […] And safeguards to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, our best allies from deforestation.”Christoph Hansen (European People’s Party, right), negotiator in Parliament, noted.

Thus, importers will have to “Verifying compliance with the legislation of the country of production, with respect to human rights, and ensuring respect for the rights of the indigenous people concerned”.

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