Agreement on new deforestation law

EU consumption is responsible for around 10% of global deforestation. In the beginning of December, the Council and European Parliament reached a provisional deal on a new law on deforestation-free products, which should ensure that no products are sold from land subject to deforestation or forest degradation in the EU. Contrary to the proposal of the European Parliament, the scope will not immediately be extended to other wooded land such as savannahs. 

To sell their products on the EU market, companies will be required to verify and issue a so-called “due diligence” statement guaranteeing the production of the goods has not led to deforestation or forest degradation. Operators will have to trace products back to the land where production took place. Three risk categories (low, standard, or high) will define specific obligation to the respective countries. 

Companies need to show they comply with relevant national production legislation, including human rights and rights of Indigenous Peoples involved. However, they do not have to comply with international human rights laws and respect for Indigenous Peoples’ rights as the European Parliament has proposed in their report. 

Cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm-oil, soya, wood, rubber, charcoal, and printed paper products are covered by the new rules. Also goods containing or made with those products, such as leather and chocolate, will be under the scope of the new legislation. 

Within two years after the legislation came into force, the Commission must review the law and evaluate if the scope should be extended to other commodities and to other ecosystems, such as land with a value for biodiversity. 

The work of IFOAM Organics Europe on this topic is co-financed by the LIFE programme of the European Union, under the Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). This page only reflects the views of the authors and its sole responsibility lies with IFOAM Organics Europe. The CINEA is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided. 

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