Vote on deforestation of the ENVI Committee : a positive step forward that can be further improved

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Today, the Environment Committee of the European Parliament adopted the report of Mr Hansen on imported deforestation. Farm Europe welcomes the work and additions made by the Environment Committee and their colleagues from the AGRI Committee to the initial proposal from the European Commission. 

Nevertheless, the ENVI Committee could have been more ambitious when it comes to securing effective controls and sector specific rules. Relying on due diligence with very light public authorities controls presents the risks associated with administrative and “paper-only” procedures. 

Securing geolocalisation, traceability and the call for the setting up of a rapid alert system based on Earth Observation Tools is an important step forward which can be a game-changer for deforestation across the world. This tool should be made available to all economic actors, in particular SMEs willing to secure deforestation free supply chains, in a cooperative way with countries of origin. 

As a next step, Farm Europe recommends the following improvements: 

– a cut-off date of 2015 instead of 2019 voted by the committee. Establishing a date of 2019 presents the risk of green-washing an important stock of recently deforested areas, conduced ahead of the discussions on deforestation within the European Union. Data exist since 2015 and must be used. 

– a clearer definition for the traceability of the beef products. The text from the ComENVI should be improved to clearly cover all steps of production as this sector plays a key role in the deforestation activities in South America. Potential gaps in the regulation should be closed in order to guarantee its the credibility.

Fighting against deforestation is the cornerstone in the setting up of sustainable value chains at global level. The European Union via its imports is the driver of 10% of the deforestation across the world. In the context of the Green Deal, this legislation is essential to guarantee the credibility of the regulations of the biomass covering food, feed and energy sectors.