Did you know that this month is a crucial month for deforestation?
Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests and woodlands and the conversion to non-forest uses such as agriculture, while forest degradation is the loss of the forests’ capacity to provide their essential goods and services.
The EU’s demand for food and foodstuff is driving large-scale global deforestation and forest degradation, often in tropical regions, a problem that is worsening year by year. The EU is responsible for 16% of the world’s forest destruction, unacceptable!
On top of that, the summer of 2022 saw tremendous destruction by forest fires in Europe itself, making headlines week after week. We are witness to nature’s destruction due to human irresponsibility, and it is crucial that we act now!
On September 13 2022, the European Parliament will vote on a regulation on deforestation-free products, with a debate taking place this September 12. We need your help to push for an ambitious regulation now!
A quick recap – what is this deforestation law proposal?
Currently on the table is an initiative for a new law to impose obligations on companies to prove their supply chains are not contributing to forest destruction. It garnered nearly 1.2 million responses, a fantastic achievement – recorded as the second highest response rate for EU public consultations!
If this legislative proposal is voted in, EU Member States will be responsible for enforcing it and punishing those that break the law.
What can you do as a JGI member?
As a JGI member, we strongly encourage you to engage with your national MEPs in the lead-up to September 12!
The next two weeks will be our very last opportunity to influence MEPs to support the Deforestation Law. But also to prevent a watering down of key elements of the legislation by the agricultural and crops industry lobby who would like to see their responsibility narrowed or certain destructive products be exempt. This is the time to make it count.
We strongly encourage you to contact your MEPs to urge them to vote in this law proposal!
To contact your respective MEP, please go to this link:
- Once on the website, select your country and you will see a list of MEP names.
- When you click on their names you will find their email addresses.
- For the message, feel free to use WWF’s language around this which you find here. Either copy paste the message into your email, or use the pre-populated WWF portal for this.
For more detailed information on this deforestation law proposal please refer to the following press release and EP briefing :
- (Press release) EN_Civil Society Position Statement_Proposed EU regulation on deforestation-free products.pdf (together4forests.eu)
- Briefing to EP (11-04-2022) : Towards deforestation-free commodities and products in the EU
For more information on the objectives and content of the resolution within the context of JGI’s work, we invite you to look at these helpful summaries on JGI France’s website:
The Deforestation Proposal in Belgium
In Belgium, we have seen positive reactions in the country on three core components of the proposed law, listing the requirements of raw materials in order to be available on the Union market or exported from the Union markets:
- Materials are deforestation-free
- They have been produced in accordance with the relevant legislation of the country of production
- They are covered by a due diligence statement
If the Law is passed on EU level, it will be concretized by Belgium’s regional authorities. Once implemented, this will affect us in Belgium in different ways, ranging from having the confidence that we are buying deforestation free products to having the right information to make conscious decisions on our consumer habits.
JGI and The Together4Forests Campaign
With this deforestation proposal on the table, a group of NGOs, including ClientEarth, Conservation International, Environmental Investigation Agency, Fern, Global Witness, Greenpeace, and led by WWF, have embarked on a crucial campaign #Together4Forests!.
The campaign, backed by a large movement of 180+ NGOs, has been striving for EU action to protect forests, other natural ecosystems and human rights worldwide. This NGO group have continuously insisted that a comprehensive set of measures and initiatives, including new legislation, is essential to reduce the EU’s footprint on the world’s natural ecosystems.
For more information on the campaign please see: https://together4forests.eu/about/about-together4forests
At the core of the campaign are email actions to urge national ministers and MEPs to support ambitious legislation . For more information, including a dedicated WWF driven email campaign event, please click on the following link: https://www.wwf.eu/campaigns/together4forests/
JGI, together with the Together4Forests campaign, reiterates that this is your moment to ensure the world’s forests, other ecosystems and the people living in them, are more protected. It is your chance to help put an end to these crazy forest fires that are reducing nature to ashes!
Hero image credit: World Wide Fund for Nature Brazil