Indiċi 
 Preċedenti 
 Li jmiss 
 Test sħiħ 
Proċedura : 2010/0217(NLE)
Ċiklu ta' ħajja waqt sessjoni
Ċikli relatati mad-dokumenti :

Testi mressqa :

A7-0371/2010

Dibattiti :

PV 17/01/2011 - 14
PV 17/01/2011 - 16
CRE 17/01/2011 - 14
CRE 17/01/2011 - 16

Votazzjonijiet :

PV 19/01/2011 - 6.3
Spjegazzjoni tal-votazzjoni
Spjegazzjoni tal-votazzjoni
Spjegazzjoni tal-votazzjoni

Testi adottati :

P7_TA(2011)0009

Dibattiti
It-Tnejn, 17 ta' Jannar 2011 - Strasburgu Edizzjoni riveduta

14. Ftehim UE-Kamerun dwar il-liġi tal-foresti - Ftehim UE-Repubblika tal-Kongo dwar ir-regolamenti tal-foresti - Ftehimiet ta' Sħubija Volontarja FLEGT (dibattitu)
Vidjow tat-taħditiet
PV
MPphoto
 

  Die Präsidentin. − Als nächster Punkt folgt die Gemeinsame Aussprache – Forstrecht (Kamerun, Republik Kongo)

– Abkommen EU/Kamerun über das Recht im Forstsektor

Empfehlung von Yannick Jadot im Namen des Ausschusses für internationalen Handel (A7-0371/2010)

Empfehlung zu dem Vorschlag für einen Beschluss des Rates über den Abschluss eines freiwilligen Partnerschaftsabkommens zwischen der Europäischen Union und der Republik Kamerun über Rechtsdurchsetzung, Politikgestaltung und Handel im Forstsektor sowie über die Einfuhr von Holzprodukten in die Europäische Union (FLEGT)

[12796/2010 - C7-0339/2010 - 2010/0217(NLE)]

– Abkommen EU/Republik Kongo über das Recht im Forstsektor

Empfehlung von Yannick Jadot im Namen des Ausschusses für internationalen Handel (A7-0370/2010)

Empfehlung zu dem Vorschlag für einen Beschluss des Rates über den Abschluss eines freiwilligen Partnerschaftsabkommens zwischen der Europäischen Union und der Republik Kongo über Rechtsdurchsetzung, Politikgestaltung und Handel im Forstsektor sowie über die Einfuhr von Holzprodukten in die Europäische Union (FLEGT)

[10028/2010 - C7-0170/2010 - 2010/0062(NLE)]

– Anfrage zur mündlichen Beantwortung [2010/3015(RSP)] an die Kommission über FLEGT - Freiwillige Partnerschaftsabkommen mit Kongo und Kamerun und weitere geplante freiwillige Partnerschaftsabkommen von Yannick Jadot, Catherine Bearder, David Martin, Joe Higgins, Daniel Caspary (O-0202/2010 - B7-0802/2010) im Namen der

Fraktion der Grünen / Freie Europäische Allianz

Fraktion der Allianz der Liberalen und Demokraten für Europa

Fraktion der Progressiven Allianz der Sozialisten und Demokraten im Europäischen Parlament

Konföderale Fraktion der Vereinigten Europäischen Linken/Nordische Grüne Linke

Fraktion der Europäischen Volkspartei (Christdemokraten)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Yannick Jadot, rapporteur. − Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, je voudrais déjà exprimer à tous mes collègues mes remerciements pour le travail que nous avons mené en commun sur cette question, qui a permis que l'ensemble des groupes politiques de ce Parlement ait une position commune et soit amené à poser une question orale et à rédiger une résolution qui accompagne les accords de partenariat volontaire.

Le sujet est d'importance. Vous le savez tous, la forêt recule. Toutes les deux secondes dans le monde, c'est l'équivalent d'un terrain de football qui est détruit, c'est en un an l'équivalent du territoire de la Grèce qui est déforesté et c'est évidemment dramatique. C'est dramatique du point de vue de la diversité: ce sont quelques milliers d'espèces végétales et animales qui sont mises en danger alors que les forêts les plus touchées – les forêts tropicales – comprennent la moitié de la biodiversité terrestre. C'est évidemment dramatique aussi du point de vue des changements climatiques: la déforestation contribue à hauteur de 20 % à l'effet de serre. Enfin, la déforestation met en danger quelques centaines de millions de personnes qui, soit vivent dans les forêts, soit vivent de la forêt.

L'exploitation et l'industrie forestières figurent parmi les principales causes de la déforestation, en particulier, dans la zone qui nous intéresse aujourd'hui: le bassin du Congo. On estime que 20 à 40 % du bois coupé et échangé dans le monde est du bois illégal. La question que nous évoquons aujourd'hui est donc évidemment essentielle.

Ces accords de partenariat volontaire ont été approuvés dans le cadre de la procédure d'approbation au sein de la commission du commerce international. Cette procédure permet, grâce au traité de Lisbonne, au Parlement européen de s'exprimer mais, en même temps, il peut uniquement dire oui ou non. C'est donc pour cela que ce débat est extrêmement important, parce qu'il nous permet de rentrer davantage dans le détail et qu'il vous permet, Monsieur le Commissaire, en tant que représentant la Commission, de répondre aux questions que vous adresse le Parlement.

Ces accords sont importants, ils permettent d'assurer la traçabilité du bois. Ils mettent aussi en place des procédures de vérification indépendantes, et accompagnent les politiques et la gouvernance forestières dans les pays concernés. Aujourd'hui, nous parlons du Congo Brazzaville et du Cameroun.

Mais déjà un premier point avant de rentrer dans ces accords et dans les questions du Parlement: il faut bien faire la différence entre le bois légal et le bois durable. Évidemment, nous traitons ici de la légalité du bois mais qui dit légalité du bois ne dit pas durabilité de l'exploitation forestière.

Donc, la première question générale que je poserais à la Commission est: comment la Commission s'engage-t-elle à assurer la cohérence globale autour de la question des forêts – l'année 2011 est l'année internationale des forêts – en prenant en compte ce qui a été dit à Nagoya, en prenant en compte ce qui a aussi été décidé à Cancun, notamment sur le mécanisme REDD-plus et en tenant compte également des accords commerciaux négociés qui parfois, en libéralisant le commerce du bois, participent à la déforestation?

Ensuite, nous attendons toujours une réponse de la Commission européenne sur la question des agrocarburants et des changements indirects d'affectation des sols. Vous savez que le Parlement vous a demandé d'intégrer ces enjeux dans les critères d'évaluation de durabilité des agrocarburants.

Concernant plus spécifiquement les accords de partenariat volontaire, il y a beaucoup d'éléments positifs: nous avons fortement apprécié le travail de négociation et, notamment, d'association des acteurs de la société civile au Cameroun et en République du Congo; on sait que ce n'est pas facile et de ce point de vue là, il apparaît que ces accords de partenariat volontaire sont un succès.

Mais, comme je le disais tout à l'heure, un certain nombre de questions et de demandes demeurent: Monsieur le Commissaire, êtes-vous prêt à venir, par exemple, tous les six mois ou six mois après la signature d'un accord, nous rendre compte de la mise en œuvre de l'accord? Parce qu'il est évident que, entre la qualité de la négociation et la mise en œuvre, il peut y avoir une grande différence. Nous souhaiterions donc que vous veniez nous dire si les acteurs, notamment les acteurs de la société civile, continuent à être associés à la mise en œuvre. Dans des pays où il n'est pas toujours facile de se plaindre, notamment quand il y a de la corruption, est-ce qu'il est prévu des mécanismes de plaintes – notamment indépendants – qui permettraient à ces acteurs de la société civile de dénoncer une mauvaise mise en œuvre, de dire que leur parole n'est plus écoutée? De la même façon, nous souhaiterions que vous fassiez régulièrement rapport sur les impacts de la mise en œuvre de ces accords, pour que vous nous disiez où nous en sommes, à la fois en termes de cohérence globale de l'action de la Commission sur les forêts, et en termes de mise en œuvre spécifique sur la question de la légalité du bois.

Enfin un dernier élément: vous prétendez que, dans ces accords, il n'y a pas de budget. Or, il va évidemment falloir des budgets pour accompagner ces politiques, donc pouvez-vous clarifier la question budgétaire autour de ces accords de partenariat volontaire?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Catherine Bearder, author. − Madam President, the tropical rainforests in Cameroon and the Congo are precious and we must welcome this voluntary agreement to address the sustainability of the harvesting of the timber that they contain.

The forests belong not only to the people of these countries but they are part of the ecosystem of the planet, they are key to the life-sustaining systems and they contain billions of tons of carbon.

Halting deforestation is one of the ways that we should be tackling climate change, and governments around the globe have been trying to do this for years. These two countries should be congratulated for their courage and foresight in signing up to these voluntary agreements with the EU.

However, regulating and enforcing these agreements will prove a challenge. Heaven knows, building in sustainable management of our own continent’s resources is hard enough. But the will is there and for that we should be very pleased. Careful management can bring down illegal and unsustainably imported timber.

At the moment the amount of timber that is illegally harvested and imported into the EU constitutes almost one fifth of the timber products on our markets, despite Parliament and others trying to tackle this. Enforcement will be made easier with the involvement of local people and civil society in these countries, and we must ensure that their right to be heard and involved is maintained and listened to. After all, they have the most to lose if their forests are removed.

The widespread removal of tropical timber is driven by an insatiable appetite for products to grace our homes. We should value this resource better and take greater care of the resource that not only sustains a whole host of plant and animal species but is slow-growing and takes many years to reach maturity.

We must take care not to undermine our own efforts to fight deforestation and climate change by simultaneously providing the largest market for illegal timber products in the world.

The result of these agreements may mean that tropical timber reaches a higher price, and that is something that we should not object to. It is not only a limited resource, but it is the only thing that local people have to sell. They know the true value of their resource and with this agreement, so will we.

These people are our eyes and ears in the forest and we need their help to enforce the agreements. They need us to support their ability to voice any concerns. These agreements are a two-way process and we look to you, Commissioner, to be able to enforce it.

The VPAs (Voluntary Partnership Agreements) are good for the planet, good for our partner countries and good for the EU. We must ensure that the agreements work and that any breaches are monitored and addressed. Then we must look to other countries in Africa, Asia and South America to sign up to similar agreements as soon as possible and I look forward to working with you and the Commission to achieve this.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  David Martin, author. − Madam President, let me begin by thanking Yannick Jadot for his exemplary cooperation with his shadows. We all worked extremely well on this report and I am delighted – as he has said – that we managed to reach a broad consensus.

The agreements with Congo and Cameroon, taken together with Ghana, means that some of Africa’s most vulnerable forests are now covered by Voluntary Partnership Agreements. The existence of these agreements, as the two previous speakers have said, is to be warmly welcomed. They provide a mechanism for tackling the massive illegal trade in timber. They provide an opportunity for the better management of a vital natural resource and, hopefully, they will bring greater transparency and help us tackle corruption in the forest sector, which unfortunately in Africa is endemic at the moment.

But, while welcoming these agreements, I nevertheless share with the rapporteur a number of concerns. I would just like to express three this evening.

First and foremost, the danger – it is not the intention, but there is a danger – of agreeing such a framework is that it is seen as providing a framework for large-scale exploitation of our forests, leading to the opposite of the purpose of the agreement, namely further degradation and further deforestation, thus contributing to the very destruction of the global environment we are trying to avoid. What we want is an agreement that contributes to the conservation and sustainable management of our biodiversity resources. I agree with the rapporteur that this means that the Commission has to constantly monitor the situation and report back regularly on how the agreement is progressing.

Secondly, indigenous people, who are so often the victims of environmental exploitation, should benefit from this agreement. The promise in the Voluntary Partnership Agreement by the Congolese Government to promote a law ensuring that the rights of indigenous people are promoted and respected must be delivered upon. Again I urge the Commission, in their contact with the Government, to continually press for the delivery of this promise until it is there on the statute book in the Congo.

Thirdly, we must ensure – and I agree with Catherine Bearder who mentioned this – that appropriate funds are available to properly implement this Agreement. No matter how good an agreement is on paper, without the resources to carry it out, it is a meaningless piece of paper. As has been indicated, there are no financial packages attached to the Agreement itself. It is up to us – both the Commission to propose, and Parliament and Council to put into the budget appropriate budgetary facilities – to make this Agreement work. That means we need to have money to verify the legality of timber coming into the European Union, we need money to train, equip and give the technical expertise to those operating in the African countries we have VPAs with, and we also need resources to carry out the monitoring that I have already mentioned.

So we need to make sure, in the coming months, that we deliver the financial framework to make a success of these agreements. I repeat that these are good agreements but, like all agreements, they will depend on the goodwill and vigilance of individuals – the non-government organisations, the Member States, the Congolese and Cameroon Governments – to deliver on their promises to make sure these agreements work in practice. They should lead to better management of our forests and better management of vital global resources but, if wrongly handled, they could take us in the opposite direction. We look to the Commission to keep a beady eye on the progress that is being made.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Joe Higgins, author. − Madam President, we agree with the general approach of Yannick Jadot to this issue. I welcome any agreement that guarantees protection of the rainforests of our planet, if such agreements also advance the protection of the indigenous people of the forest and give a better life to the majority of the people in the countries concerned.

It must be said at the start that both the Republic of Congo and Cameroon have highly repressive governments. Cameroon is very high in the Corruption Index kept by Transparency International, and in the Republic of Congo there has been horrific exploitation of some sections of the population, notably the pygmy people, although a new law has just been passed and people will wait to see what this does to protect indigenous people.

The logging industry in these countries is implicated in corruption and in the exploitation of workers and the deforestation involved is a huge threat to the livelihoods of the indigenous people. It is for this reason that the original resolution of the European United Left Group calls for the logging industry to be in public ownership and under democratic control, crucially involving workers in the industry and the indigenous communities in the forests affected by logging.

The Left’s resolution also points out that illegal logging is related to poverty levels in the countries concerned. It can provide an income for individuals and their families who would otherwise go hungry, and therefore ending illegal logging is also linked to ending the poverty and deprivation of many communities in the relevant countries.

This will not be done by the corrupt local elites, nor by European multinational corporations whose key motivation is private profit, but by the forestry workers and the indigenous peoples themselves taking democratic ownership of their resources. In this sense, the people of sub-Saharan Africa can take inspiration from their brothers and sisters in Tunisia in their heroic struggle against a corrupt dictatorship over the past weeks.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Caspary, Verfasser. − Frau Präsidentin! Meine geschätzten Kollegen mehrerer Exportländer von tropischem Hartholz haben begonnen, freiwillige Partnerschaftsabkommen mit der EU im Rahmen des FLEGT-Aktionsplans zu unterzeichnen. Die Europäische Union wird die Reformen für eine verantwortungsvolle Forstverwaltung und für einen Kapazitätsausbau unterstützen, insbesondere die Einführung von Herkunftssicherungs- und Legalitätsnachweissystemen für Holzprodukte.

Was mir besonders wichtig ist: Wenn es der Verbesserung der Transparenz und der Verhinderung von Umweltschäden bei forstwirtschaftlichen Tätigkeiten hilft, dann ist es gut, dass die Partner die Verpflichtung eingehen, geltende Rechtsvorschriften zu ändern und zu verbessern. Ausdrücklich begrüße ich auch, dass sich die Europäische Union verpflichtet hat, beim Aufbau von Kapazitäten in den holzerzeugenden Ländern Unterstützung zu leisten, vor allem bei der Einführung von Herkunftssicherungs- und Legalitätsnachweissystemen für Holz und Holzprodukte.

Zwei weitere Punkte möchte ich nennen: Die freiwilligen Partnerschaftsabkommen werden von der Idee getragen, dem Handel mit illegal geschlagenem Holz und daraus hergestellten Erzeugnissen gemeinsam ein Ende zu setzen und einen Beitrag dazu zu leisten, der Entwaldung, der Waldschädigung und deren Folgen in Gestalt von CO2-Emissionen sowie dem Verlust der biologischen Vielfalt weltweit Einhalt zu gebieten.

Eine weitere großflächige Ausbeutung der tropischen und anderer besonders artenreicher Wälder mit hoher Kohlenstoffspeicherkapazität ist nicht zu verantworten und kann zu einer weiteren Entwaldung und Waldschädigung führen und somit weltweit verheerende Folgen für die Umwelt haben.

Deshalb sind diese Abkommen ein kleiner, aber ein guter Schritt in die richtige Richtung. Ich teile ausdrücklich die angesprochenen Punkte meiner Vorredner, danke dem Berichterstatter für die gute Zusammenarbeit und würde mich freuen, wenn wir mit diesen Abkommen wirklich vorankommen könnten, um unsere Welt ein Stück besser zu machen.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Andris Piebalgs, Member of the Commission. − Madam President, I would like to start by thanking the rapporteur, Mr Jadot, for his support for the Voluntary Partnership Agreements on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade with Congo and Cameroon. I hope this House will follow the recommendations for consent to conclude these two agreements. This would also encourage the parliaments in both Cameroon and Congo to complete their consideration.

It is important that both the European Union and our partner countries endorse the VPAs, since illegal logging is a problem for all. I know that illegal logging is just the visible tip of the iceberg. Basically we are talking about starting to work together for sustainable management of forestry resources. And, to answer one of the rapporteur’s suggestions immediately, I could say that, yes, I am ready to come here every six months, as Parliament calls me, to monitor the implementation of these agreements.

It is true that this is a commitment. There are risks but this is the only way, in my opinion, to achieve really sustainable management of this resource, because if we do not do this, we will not manage to be successful through declarations alone.

For our partner countries there is a lot of commitment, but I believe that one important factor is the loss that results from illegal logging. Each year, USD 10-15 billion is lost in revenue. Illegal logging also has extremely negative consequences for indigenous peoples, for biodiversity and in terms of climate change.

At the same time, it is also important to emphasise that the EU is one of the biggest markets for tropical wood. This means that our approach is extremely important in how the whole issue is being addressed. Of the tropical wood arriving in the EU, 20% comes from illegal sources, so we have an obligation to ensure that we source only legal wood.

The climate change issue is another concern for everyone, and the protection of forests needs to start somewhere. It is very simple to say that we need to pay to protect forests: it is a simple formula, but applying it requires a lot of commitment from both sides.

I shall try to answer a couple of questions that have been put to me. On enforcement and implementation, the VPA establishes a joint committee to monitor implementation of the agreement. It will also establish an independent audit to analyse the legality assurance system and its effectiveness and efficiency. There is also an annual reporting mechanism, and the annual report will be made public and will definitely be available to the European Parliament.

Moreover, in preparation for the VPAs, we have involved civil society and indigenous peoples. Until now they had been completely left out of the process, so we have agreed, under the new agreements, to set up multi-stakeholder committees to monitor, or guide, the implementation process where indigenous people are involved.

In addition, the VPAs include a complaints mechanism, and the independent auditor will have access to, and will rely on, information from a wide array of sources, including civil society and communities.

There is a definite cost in terms of resources. Between 2002 and 2008, the EU contributed EUR 544 million to forestry in general in the developing world, some of it directed to FLEGT work in individual countries. The Commission has so far spent a further EUR 35 million to support FLEGT more generally, and we will spend EUR 35 million more between 2011 and 2013. I would emphasis, too, that Member States also make fiscal contributions.

We have also dedicated human resources to the implementation of FLEGT. I have seven civil servants dealing with this, and they are working closely with the European Forest Institute and national forest authorities.

An additional effort has been made in the form of the Illegal Timber Regulation, adopted in 2010 as a key element of the FLEGT action plan, and this will complement the VPA approach. It will discourage unregulated, unsustainable exploitation of forests.

The recent agreement in Cancún on action to reduce emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation (known as ‘REDD’) will facilitate further Commission support for developing countries. Our future work on forest governance through VPAs will be helped by the fact that REDD makes provision for governance and for observance of the rights of indigenous peoples and members of local communities.

I take note of the human rights situation in partner countries. I agree with the draft motion for a resolution that the Commission should continue to focus on these issues. I can assure you that we keep human rights issues at the centre of our political dialogue with the partner countries, and I can assure you that the fight against corruption is one of the issues we address when dealing with the partner countries.

But I would emphasise one particular point that represents encouragement for the whole process: the fact that partner countries feel engaged. Without real engagement from our partner countries, given all the weaknesses at administrative level, we cannot protect forests more effectively.

I know that this is the start of the process, but it is a start being made by both sides, and I am always ready to come to Parliament to report on how the implementation is going. However, with FLEGT we are definitely not taking a wrong step. It is a step in the right direction: we are not increasing the risk. Perhaps we are not providing entirely sufficient solutions, but at least it is a decent step that we can be proud of.

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: Diana WALLIS
Vice-President

 
Aġġornata l-aħħar: 26 ta' Mejju 2011Avviż legali