Deforestation of tropical rainforests causes irrecoverable damage to biodiversity in terms of ecosystem and species loss and has long-term negative impact on global and regional climate through increased carbon release into the atmosphere. It is therefore crucial to stop deforestation.

In this context, EPSO welcomes the initiative, taken by the European Parliament, to explore the potential for European policy to reduce EU-driven global deforestation through the limitation of the import of commodities causing deforestation. EPSO supports the implementation of effective EU policies including due diligence and sustainability certification standards regarding deforestation risks.

We stress nevertheless that, as the Authors of the study themselves admit, they report upper-bound estimates of the impact of proposed policies. We also suggest that there is room for improvement in the definition of policies: (i) by differentiating the biodiversity and ecosystem services of much higher impact of clearing and disturbing pristine compared to already disturbed or secondary forests; (ii) by additionally aiming at preventing degradation of pristine forests, which also has a deep impact on biodiversity & ecosystem services; (iii) by promoting the usage and import of agroforestry-based commodities, which have the net advantage of actively maintaining forest cover.

EPSO offers to collaborate with the European Parliament, European Commission, Member States and authorities across the world to develop a forward-looking legislative framework, respective research and innovation strategies and help implement these.

Click here to read: Full EPSO news 16.09.202

Contacts: Chairs of the EPSO Tree biology and biotechnology Working Group: Ivan Scotti, INRAe / FR, Elspeth MacRae, Scion / NZ and Bethold Heinze, BFW / AT; EPSO.