During this week’s European Parliament plenary session, MEPs took a crucial step forward with the adoption of two texts essential to the achievement of the EU Green Deal, the EU Forest Strategy and a regulation on deforestation.
In the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), Ulrike Müller MEP (Freie Wähler, DE) endeavoured to develop the European Commission's proposal in greater detail, ensuring the aim of making European forests contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions is adapted to the socio-economic realities on the ground. The adaptation and resilience of forest ecosystems must be based on decentralised management and the diversity of natural conditions, property systems and forms of forest governance in EU Member States.
"European forests are facing more challenges and expectations than ever, and not only due to climate change. We need the new EU forest strategy to achieve policy coherence on all levels and to enable forests and foresters to meet these challenges and expectations. To deliver, the strategy must build on the principles of multi-functionality, sustainable forest management, owners and foresters as key pillars of implementation and a bottom-up approach to reflect the local uniqueness of all forests."
In the European Parliament Environment Committee (ENVI), Nicolae Ştefănuță MEP (USR+, RO) worked to minimise the risk of global deforestation and forest degradation associated with products placed on the EU market, as well as EU exports of products associated with deforestation and forest degradation, by imposing due diligence throughout the supply chain. The stakes are high, since European consumption is responsible for 17% of tropical deforestation linked to internationally traded commodities such as meat, palm oil, soy, coffee and cocoa.
Ştefănuță, Shadow Rapporteur for Renew Europe in ENVI, underlined:
“The forest, air and nature do not stop at borders. They influence the whole world. I am satisfied that the European Parliament backed a strong mandate for legislation that not only reduces EU-driven deforestation and degradation, but also increases pressure on the international community to follow this example and make products and commodities deforestation-free. I am happy that this will bring more transparency and establish clear rules for buying and selling of commodities that are at a high risk of leading to deforestation.”
Photo credit: L corneanu