1 million citizens are calling on the Commission: Our forests are in danger, act now!
One million people demand EU law to stop deforestation
More than a million people have so far called for a strong, new EU law to stop EU-driven deforestation, sending a powerful signal to the European Commission and national governments. People in Europe want to be sure that the products they buy have neither contributed to the destruction of forests and other ecosystems nor led to human rights violations.
The #Together4Forests campaign is encouraging people to make submissions to the ongoing European Commission public consultation on deforestation to push for a strong EU law to keep agricultural and other products linked to deforestation off the European market. The more than one million submissions make it the largest public consultation on environmental issues, and the second most responded ever in the history of the EU (only surpassed by the consultation on summertime arrangements). But, the race is not over yet!
You can respond to the public consultation until 10 December by signing the petition on our website. It will automatically send our pre-fixed answers in your name to the Commission.
This powerful call from citizens follows the strong support shown by the European Parliament last month for a law to stop EU-driven deforestation.
Forests under attack
Forests and other ecosystems are under pressure worldwide: A total of 13 million hectares are deforested each year and almost all of it is happening in tropical forests (96%). The main driver of deforestation is expansion of agricultural land that is needed to meet the global demand of certain products (80%).
Europe accounts for a third of the world’s deforestation
Europe and its citizens play a significant role in this. The EU imports and consumes around one third of the globally traded agricultural products associated with deforestation. This accounts for 7-10% of the global total consumption (consumption of exporting countries included) of crops and livestock products that are directly and indirectly linked to rainforest deforestation. The EU is among the major global importers of a number of these so called ‘forest and ecosystem risk commodities’, such as palm oil, soy, beef, rubber, maize, cocoa and coffee. Even though the latter two have a relatively small forest footprint globally, their production is often highly concentrated in a few countries, leading to negative impacts that are very high in those areas.
As Europeans, what can we do to stop deforestation?
At the moment, there is nothing that stops these products linked to deforestation ending up on the market and on our supermarket shelves all across the EU, fuelling biodiversity loss, climate change and human rights violations. With the launch of the European Commission’s public consultation on the assessment of additional legislative and non-legislative measures to address deforestation, we have a unique opportunity to get into action and mobilize citizens to take part in this.
The European Commission presented a number of actions to address the EU’s role in deforestation in 2019. One of these actions is the assessment of new legislation. This consultation can send a clear signal to the Commission – we need to act to reduce the impact of products placed on the EU market on forests and other ecosystems and on those depending on them.
This is a unique occasion to stop products that are linked to deforestation, forest degradation and ecosystem conversion or degradation from entering the EU market, as well as to stop the human rights violations linked to it. This way, we will protect the world’s last remaining forests and savannahs, peatlands and other unique places that are being destroyed for our consumption.
Now that we have your attention
As someone with a heart from the environment, please consider signing the European Cititzen Initiative to Save the bees and farmers too. It wants everyone in Europe to come together to call for a bee-friendly agriculture to the benefit of farmers, health and the environment.
This European Citizens Initiative, calls on the European Commission to support an agricultural model that allows farmers and biodiversity to thrive in harmony.