On the brink of a breakthrough
In December – following mounting calls from Member States, the European Parliament and over 200,000 citizens - the European Commission finally announced plans to act against deforestation and forest degradation.
Agriculture is the biggest driver of deforestation on earth, and the EU is the second biggest importer of agricultural goods which cause deforestation, much of it illegal. The urgency of passing laws which eradicate deforestation, land grabs and other human rights abuses from the EU’s agricultural supply chains, is, moreover, intensified by two factors.
As the EU continues to embrace open trade in the face of growing protectionism and trade wars, many of the free trade deals it has signed or is in the throes of negotiating, pose a profound threat to forests and people - unless combatted by specific and bold measures.
Later in this report, we tell the story of our campaign: from the early research we undertook to help expose the EU’s role in agricultural deforestation, through to the often protracted process of building momentum towards meaningful EU action, which we now appear to be on the brink of.