The EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests

Deforestation © Image used under the license from Adobe Stock

Worldwide, forests are being lost at the alarming rate of 800 football fields per hour. With deforestation being a critical contributor to climate change and a leading cause of biodiversity loss, it is becoming increasingly clear that a sustainable future cannot be achieved without tackling deforestation and taking measures to protect- and sustainably manage forests.

On 23 July 2019, the Commission published the communication 'Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World's Forests'. The communication stresses that stepping up action to protect existing forests, managing forests sustainably and actively and sustainably creating new forest coverage has to play a crucial role in the EU's sustainability policies.

On 7 July the ENVI Committee adopted the own-initiative report responding to the Commission's Communication with 66 votes in favour, 2 against and 9 abstentions. Plenary adopted the report on 16 September by 543 votes to 47, with 109 abstentions. The report elaborates various aspects of the Communication on Deforestation and the compromises stress in particular the importance of forests in terms of climate change mitigation and the protection of biodiversity, as well as the importance of stakeholder participation in the decision-making process concerning forests.

Rapporteur and shadows

Rapporteur: Stanislav Polčak

Shadows: Sándor Rónai (S&D), María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Renew), Martin Häusling (Greens/EFA), Anna Zalewska (ECR), Nikolaj Villumsen (GUE/NGL)