Jason Houston / WWF-US

Making sure Europe does not import deforestation

Deforestation and conversion of nature may occur in ‘places far away’, we Europeans are dealing with it every day in many products we buy and consume. For instance cocoa, palm oil and soy for animal feed are often produced on land which used to be a natural ecosystem. Also human rights can be violated during the production of these commodities.

To make sure products on the European market like palm oil and soy are more sustainable and deforestation free, WWF and others NGOs are actively advocating for strong EU action, including legislative measures. As input to law-making, WWF financed a discussion paper written by IEEP, the Institute for European Environmental Policy.

IEEP has designed two sets of sustainability criteria to ensure that Europe is part of the solution. The first set, related to deforestation, ecosystem conversion and degradation, states for example that agricultural and forest commodities placed on the EU market shall not be produced from former forest land or natural ecosystems.

Respect their rights

The second set about human rights says that the production of agricultural and forest commodities respects the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples to use land and resources. Another criterium is that all members of an affected local community or indigenous peoples shall have the opportunity to participate when decisions are made about their environment, including women, youth, elderly and other marginalised groups.

You can read the full sets of criteria here, accompanied by a discussion paper. With the SRJS programme, WWF has funded this study as halting deforestation and respecting human rights are an important part of our policy.

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About SRJS

With SRJS, we support and strengthen local NGOs and civil society organisations in 16 countries, so that we can safeguard water supply, climate resilience and food security together with governments and companies. We also ensure that these organisations work together to become stronger.

Learn more about SRJS