Procedure : 2019/2156(INI)
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Document selected : A9-0143/2020

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A9-0143/2020

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P9_TA(2020)0212

<Date>{22/07/2020}22.7.2020</Date>
<NoDocSe>A9-0143/2020</NoDocSe>
PDF 310kWORD 143k

<TitreType>REPORT</TitreType>

<Titre>on the EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2156(INI))</DocRef>


<Commission>{ENVI}Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety</Commission>

Rapporteur: <Depute>Stanislav Polčák</Depute>

Rapporteurs for the opinion (*):

Hildegard Bentele, Committee on Development

Karin Karlsbro, Committee on International Trade

Juozas Olekas, Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

(*) Associated committees Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure

AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, RESEARCH AND ENERGY
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

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

(2019/2156(INI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in particular Articles 11, 191(1) and 208 thereof,

 having regard to the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 17 April 2018[1],

 having regard to the 2015-2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

 having regard to the Paris Agreement reached at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),

 having regard to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, the Global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 23 July 2019 entitled ‘Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests’ (COM(2019)0352),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640) and to Parliament’s resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[2],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 May 2020 entitled ‘EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030: Bringing nature back into our lives’ (COM(2020)0380),

 having regard to the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for 2020-2024, the EU External Policy on Indigenous Peoples of 2016, the Council conclusions on indigenous peoples of 15 May 2017 and the European Consensus on Development of 2017,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 28 November 2018 entitled ‘A Clean Planet for all – A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’ (COM(2018)0773),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 September 2013 entitled ‘A new EU Forest Strategy: for forests and the forest-based sector’ (COM(2013)0659),

 having regard to the 2013 final report of the Commission study entitled ‘The impact of EU consumption on deforestation: Comprehensive analysis of the impact of EU consumption on deforestation’,

 having regard to the 2018 feasibility study on options to step up EU action against deforestation, commissioned by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 17 October 2008 entitled ‘Addressing the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss’ (COM(2008)0645),

 having regard to the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan of 2003, the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with third countries and the FLEGT Work Plan 2018-2022,

 having regard to the UN Human Rights Council resolution of 21 March 2019 on recognising the contribution of environmental human rights defenders to the enjoyment of human rights, environmental protection and sustainable development,

 having regard to the report of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) entitled ‘The State of the World’s Forests 2020’,

 having regard to the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030,

 having regard to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special reports on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, and its fifth assessment report on climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability,

 having regard to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of 31 May 2019,

 having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2020 on the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity[3],

 having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment emergency[4],

 having regard to its resolution of 11 September 2018 on transparent and accountable management of natural resources in developing countries: the case of forests[5],

 having regard to its resolution of 4 April 2017 on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests[6],

 having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinions of the Committee on Development, the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A9-0143/2020),

A. whereas between 1990 and 2016, 1.3 million square kilometres of the world’s forests was lost, with destructive effects on biodiversity, climate, people and the economy; whereas despite all efforts so far, a number of forest-related international commitments, such as target 15.2 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)[7] and target 5 of the Aichi Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)[8], are not on track to be adequately met by current policies; whereas the European Environment Agency report entitled ‘The European Environment – state and outlook 2020’ notes that ‘the forested area in Europe has been largely stable over the last two decades’, but also warns that ‘there has been little improvement in the conservation status of forest habitats and species since 2013’ and that ‘natural [...] and human‑induced disturbances [...] are threats to Europe’s forests’;

B. whereas the 17 SDGs are integrated and indivisible; whereas progress towards sustainable agriculture, food security and sustainable forest management – core elements of the SDGs – should be made simultaneously;

C. whereas forests are essential contributors to climate change mitigation and adaptation and whereas, conversely, deforestation, in particular tropical deforestation, is an important contributor to climate change; whereas emissions from land use and land-use change, mostly due to deforestation, are the second largest cause of climate change after the burning of fossil fuels, accounting for nearly 12 % of all greenhouse gas emissions; whereas forests also host 80 % of global biodiversity, contribute to disaster risk reduction measures through nature-based solutions, and support the livelihoods of around 25 % of the global population, while representing a large part of the land traditionally inhabited by indigenous peoples, and contributing to human health, embodying irreplaceable cultural, societal and spiritual values;

D. whereas due to climate change and loss of biodiversity, natural disturbances such as droughts, floods, storms, pest infestations, erosion and fires will occur more frequently and with greater intensity, which will also cause increasing damage to the world’s forests, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; whereas scaling up investments in nature-based solutions is one of the most cost-effective remedies to tackle emissions and protect vital ecosystems, while improving livelihoods, resilience and food security;

E. whereas there is a need for far-reaching, ambitious and concerted action, underpinned by political and societal will, to protect and restore the world’s forests;

F. whereas stepping up action to protect and restore forests and enhance the quantity and quality of forest ecosystems has to play a crucial role in the EU’s and Member States’ sustainability policies and in reaching the objectives of the European Green Deal; whereas in order to limit global warming and help tackle biodiversity loss, it is essential that forests are protected, restored and managed in such a way as to maximise their capacity for carbon storage and biodiversity protection; whereas primary forests provide more carbon dioxide storage and essential habitat that is missing from younger and newly planted forests;

G. whereas according to the FAO State of the World’s Forests Report 2020, globally, ‘agricultural expansion continues to be the main driver of deforestation’ alongside urban expansion, infrastructure development and mining; whereas there is a need to work closely with the EU’s partner countries and different stakeholders to enhance innovative and positive interactions between agriculture and forestry to build sustainable agricultural systems and improve food security; whereas the EU is also indirectly involved in the deforestation and degradation of world forests and other natural ecosystems through the import and consumption of commodities associated with deforestation, such as soy, palm oil, rubber, maize, beef, leather and cocoa; whereas EU consumption represents around 10 % of the global share of deforestation embodied in total final consumption;

H. whereas a recent Global Witness investigation revealed that between 2013 and 2019, EU-based financial institutions were the main international source of funds for six agribusiness companies linked to forest destruction in the Amazon, Congo Basin and Papua New Guinea, whom they backed to the tune of EUR 7 billion[9];

I. whereas current voluntary commitments from companies and banks to tackle deforestation have failed to deliver the change in behaviour needed to halt this disastrous environmental destruction;

J. whereas the negative impact of the Renewable Energy Directive on the world’s and EU’s forests required the directive to be recast[10]; whereas the changes introduced will not address the problem however;

K. whereas subsidies for bioenergy from wood should be redirected towards energy efficiency and renewable energy;

L. whereas the applicable rules of the Renewable Energy Directive are based on the understanding that dedicated energy harvests are sustainable, climate neutral and enable the source to be renewed within a suitable time frame; whereas this understanding is erroneous;

M. whereas action at all levels, including regulatory measures and stricter enforcement of current legislation, as well as substantial public and private investment, will be needed to protect the world’s forests and other natural ecosystems more effectively; whereas this can only be achieved by ensuring policy coherence across all sectors and between the EU’s internal and external policies through the application of the do no harm principle;

N. whereas increased protection and restoration of forests and other natural ecosystems, as well as sustainable forest management, are important to preserve the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities, provide opportunities for social and economic development and job creation, and allow for sustainable bio-economies to be developed, while enhancing ecosystem services and protecting biodiversity; whereas forests represent a green economic sector with the potential to create between 10 and 16 million jobs worldwide;

O. whereas mangrove forests fulfil crucial ecosystem services, as they store large amounts of carbon, are an important spawn location for many species of coral reef fish, and protect coral reefs from nutrient loads and sediments, and coastal areas from flooding; whereas until recently, mangrove forests covered more than three quarters of tropical coasts, but more than half has been lost due to coastal development, aquaculture, pollution and unsustainable use;

P. whereas the conversion of mangrove forests causes 10 % of carbon emissions from deforestation, despite mangroves representing just 0.7 % of tropical forests[11];

Q. whereas the amount of EU funding provided to support the protection and restoration of forests and sustainable forest management in partner countries is insufficient given the scale of the problem; whereas the protection, restoration and sustainable management of forests and other natural ecosystems, as well as their related co-benefits and human rights aspects, need to be better integrated into EU funding mechanisms;

R. whereas the EU and its Member States have a long tradition of and expertise in sustainable forest management and can use this to assist other countries in capacity‑building in this field;

S. whereas indigenous peoples, local communities and environmental defenders are increasingly under threat and being subjected to intimidation, while facing human rights violations in their efforts to protect their forests, land and environment;

T. whereas the chances of pathogens like viruses passing from wild and domestic animals to humans (zoonoses) may be increased by the destruction and modification of natural ecosystems;

U. whereas a sustainable and effective forest policy requires reliable information on forest resources, their condition, and how they are managed and used, along with reliable information on land-use change;

V. whereas forests and the forest-based value chain are fundamental to the further development of the circular bio-economy by providing jobs and economic welfare in rural and urban areas, delivering climate change mitigation and offering health-related benefits;

1. Welcomes the Commission communication ‘Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests’ and considers it a good basis for decisive action; agrees with the five priorities presented in the communication; underlines that these priorities are all necessary to halt and reverse deforestation and the degradation of natural ecosystems, in particular forests, as well as biodiversity loss and related human rights violations, and need to be implemented speedily and coherently; recalls, however, that the EU and its Member States should be more ambitious in their actions to meet their commitments and address the urgency of deforestation and forest degradation worldwide; underlines the importance of a comprehensive set of actions and initiatives, including new regulatory measures, which are effective, complementary, enforceable, and include monitoring;

2. Stresses the need to recognise the EU’s competences, responsibility and funds available in the area of forest protection, including European forests as part of the world’s forests, in the framework of EU environmental policy; reiterates that the success of our external action and of our partners’ response to protect their forests depends on how effective and ambitious we are in relation to our natural heritage; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States to ensure, in line with the European Green Deal and the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, the highest standards of environmental protection and greater consistency between the task of protecting and restoring forests both within the EU and in its external action;

3. Recalls that the EU and its Member States are expected to take urgent action to protect and restore forests in order to meet their commitments under the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, the Global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 and its Global Forest Goals;

4. Highlights the role of forests in increasing resilience towards adverse impacts from climate change; underlines the need for concrete and effective action in climate adaptation strategies and plans, incorporating the synergies between mitigation and adaptation;

5. Emphasises the positive contribution of forests to human health and the quality of life of citizens and the high environmental value provided in terms of carbon sequestration, storing water, controlling erosion and providing protection from landslides;

6. Underlines the fact that the drivers of deforestation go beyond the forest sector per se and relate to a wide range of issues, such as land tenure, protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, agricultural policies, climate change, democracy, human rights and political freedom;

7. Highlights that indigenous women and women farmers play a central role in protecting forest ecosystems; notes with concern, however, the absence of women’s inclusion and empowerment in the natural resource management process; believes that gender equality in forestry education plays a key role in the sustainable management of forests and should be reflected in the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan;

8. Calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to address deforestation holistically through a coherent policy framework, while ensuring the conservation of ecosystems; recalls the importance of respecting the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; supports the ongoing negotiations to create a binding UN instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights and stresses the importance of the EU being proactively involved in this process;

9. Agrees with and highlights the reference in the Commission communication to the irreplaceable nature of primary forests and calls on the Commission and Member States to recognise that the protection of native forests provides an outstanding climate mitigation benefit, deriving from the size and longevity of their ecosystem carbon stocks; stresses that afforestation, performed in a way that is compatible with the protection and enhancement of local ecosystems, can help to reach climate neutrality by 2050, while noting that newly planted forests cannot replace primary forests; highlights that safeguarding forests should be a political priority of the EU; emphasises that the EU should lead by example and ensure implementation of its own and Member States’ international social and environmental commitments, including on climate, biodiversity and human rights;

10. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure effective implementation of existing priority areas, and to include binding targets for the protection and restoration of forest ecosystems, especially primary forests, as part of the EU’s future forest strategy, which should be fully consistent with the proposal outlined in the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy for binding targets on restoration and protected areas; underlines the importance of providing adequate support and funding for these measures;

11. Underlines that specific attention should be paid to mangroves and forests in coastal areas, which are particularly impacted by climate change and represent a great opportunity for preservation, adaptation and mitigation policies; regrets the fact that the Commission communication lacks any mention of mangrove forests; stresses that 80 % of terrestrial biodiversity can be found in forests and that mangrove forests are important both from a climate and biodiversity point of view, as well as for the livelihood of the respective local communities;

12. Stresses the role of civil society in environmental protection and sustainable consumption and calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure full transparency and public participation in forest and land use-related measures in order to prevent deforestation and forest degradation, promote forest protection and sustainable forest management, and support the protection and restoration of natural forests, at regional and global levels; stresses the importance of establishing a platform for multi-stakeholder and Member State dialogue on deforestation, forest degradation and ways of sustainably increasing the world’s forest cover in order to build alliances, enter into joint commitments, halt deforestation, and exchange experiences and information;

13. Stresses the crucial role, rights and need for support of indigenous peoples and local communities, including women, in the protection of the world’s forests and in the decision-making process concerning those forests; recognises, furthermore, the threats and human rights violations they are facing; calls on the Commission, therefore, to take their role into account and involve them in the design, adoption, implementation and enforcement of forest protection measures, whether at global, EU, national or sub-national level;

14. Recalls that many farmers are aware of forests as an integral and necessary part of the landscape for their relevant ecological, economic and social functions, and that historically they strived to protect, use and regenerate forests, and continue to do so now; notes that certain local communities and indigenous peoples have used traditional farming techniques for centuries to preserve forests, with their special understanding of sustainable land use;

15. Recalls that indigenous peoples, local communities, smallholder farmers and women possess and heavily rely on indispensable knowledge regarding forests; calls for the EU to ensure the recognition of their land tenure and human rights as a matter of social justice, in line with the UN FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT), the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169, as well as their effective participation in the design and implementation of EU development programmes which have an impact on them and in the enforcement of forest protection measures, building upon the lessons learnt from the FLEGT programme;

16. Recalls the importance of adequate access to justice, legal remedies and effective protection for whistleblowers in natural resource-exporting countries in order to ensure the efficiency of any legislation or initiative; calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up their support for environmental and forest defenders in the EU and worldwide;

17. Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to increasing supply chain and investment sustainability and transparency in order to ensure the consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains; reiterates the importance of a comprehensive set of actions and initiatives in this regard;

18. Calls on the Commission, in developing any such actions and initiatives, to also consider how these can best contribute to the protection of other relevant natural ecosystems at serious risk of degradation or conversion;

19. Takes the view that a single definition of the concept of a deforestation-free supply chain is central to addressing the problem of commodities contributing to deforestation, and calls on the Commission to propose an ambitious definition; highlights, in this context, the strong connection between forest-based value chains and the SDGs;

20. Notes that the promotion of transparent certification schemes for non-deforestation commodities is one of a number of appropriate tools; points out, however, that the main purpose of such schemes must be to combat deforestation;

21. Calls on the Commission to carry out without delay studies on certification and verification schemes in the forest sector and for wood-based products and on certification schemes for non-deforestation commodities; invites the Commission to submit these studies to Parliament for further consideration, together with the proposed follow-up actions and measures so as to encourage more stringent standards and ensure the transparency of certification and third party verification schemes;

22. Welcomes the Commission’s announcement to further integrate deforestation considerations within the EU Ecolabel, green public procurement and other initiatives in the context of the circular economy, as part of a comprehensive set of actions and initiatives to ensure deforestation-free supply chains;

23. Reiterates its request to the Commission to present, without delay, an impact-assessed proposal for an EU legal framework based on due diligence, in order to ensure sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains for products and commodities placed on the EU market, with a particular focus on tackling the main drivers of imported deforestation; considers that such a framework should be enforceable and in line with international standards and obligations, should apply to the whole supply chain once careful evaluation has concluded that it is functional and applicable to all actors on the market, including SMEs, and should be accompanied by a robust enforcement mechanism, including effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties; points out that EU measures in this regard should not lead to income loss for the people in developing countries, but to new economic opportunities and an overall transformation into a more sustainable economy; calls on the Commission to declare its support on the issue of the sustainability of supply chains, including deforestation and forest degradation, in the relevant international commodity trade forums;

24. Calls on the Commission to come forward with due diligence requirements for financial institutions to identify, prevent and mitigate the environmental, social and human rights impacts of EU-driven deforestation in order to guarantee that no EU finance or banking entity is linked – either directly or indirectly – to deforestation, forest degradation, the conversion or degradation of natural ecosystems or human rights violations;

25. Stresses the role of forest owners and managers in ensuring sustainable forest development; highlights that European forest industries can contribute to advancing global standards for sustainable forest management; believes that European industries, SMEs and micro-enterprises in the forest sector should also play a role in the dialogue with partner countries on how to further promote sustainability throughout the entire value chain;

26. Calls on the private sector to be more proactive in the fight against deforestation in their supply chains and investments, by fulfilling their deforestation commitments and ensuring full transparency on the compliance with their commitments; highlights the need to leverage private investments to address drivers of deforestation and to realise the SDGs and the Paris Agreement; calls, at the same time, on the Commission to step up cooperation with the private sector and to develop appropriate instruments to incentivise frontrunners based on the principle of shared responsibility; welcomes the ongoing review of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive[12] and invites the Commission to step up the quality and scope of non-financial disclosures, in particular on environmental aspects, and to promote the integration of forest-relevant considerations into corporate social responsibility; further recalls the importance of respecting the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; supports the ongoing negotiations to create a binding UN instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights and stresses the importance of the EU being proactively involved in this process;

27. Calls on the Commission to assess, together with the private sector and other development actors, new disaster risk finance and insurance solutions against catastrophic events affecting a large number of hectares of forest;

28. Calls on the Commission to support and stimulate industry-driven innovation and initiatives to enhance sustainability in value chains;

29. Considers it necessary to redirect financial flows, both private and public, in the relevant industrial sectors towards activities that do not cause deforestation; recalls that by 31 December 2021, the Commission should assess the provisions required to extend the scope of the Taxonomy Regulation[13] to economic activities that significantly harm environmental sustainability;

30. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to make efficient use of blended finance mechanisms to attract private sector finance into forest restoration;

31. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to propose specific measures to strengthen the political and regulatory framework supporting the protection and restoration of forests and sustainable forest management at global level, and to provide guidance and specific measures on sustainable land-use planning; calls on the Commission to promote an exchange of best practices among the Member States and with third countries; calls on the Commission, furthermore, to encourage legal reform processes in producer countries to be carried out with the effective and meaningful participation of all stakeholders, including civil society, indigenous peoples and local communities, with special attention for the effective participation of women;

32. Stresses the importance of promoting sustainable forest management and a sustainable bioeconomy; acknowledges that sustainable forest management models and sustainable land use globally can contribute to preventing deforestation and forest degradation and should be based on the highest sustainability standards, reconciling economic, environmental and societal sustainability, with the protection of biodiversity and valuable carbon sinks as central elements while retaining their intrinsic value, productivity and ecosystem services; calls on the Commission to promote sustainable forestry and agriculture and to develop incentive mechanisms for small farmers and local communities in partner countries to maintain and improve ecosystem services and products obtained through sustainable forestry and agriculture; stresses the importance of agroforestry systems for agricultural production, diversification, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the prevention of desertification; points out that these agroforestry systems are characterised by higher effectivity of land use than other agricultural systems; calls for a change in order to systematically incentivise existing high-nature-value agroforestry systems, facilitate their restoration and provide capacity-building to streamline this method of production;

33. Highlights the fact that Horizon 2020 has already financed significant research and innovation in the transition towards more sustainable land-use practices and supply chains in order to halt deforestation and forest degradation; calls for increased funding to enable Horizon Europe to continue providing support in these areas;

34. Draws attention to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Ministerial Katowice Declaration on Forests for the Climate adopted by the international community on 12 December 2018, which emphasises the importance of forests and timber use for climate protection and sets those issues in the context of other international forest-related objectives and decisions; notes that, as stated in the declaration, these objectives can only be achieved by means of multifunctional active forest management, which means a management strategy that takes account of and strikes a balance between all forest-related objectives, such as carbon storage, species and soil protection, extraction of raw materials, leisure and food production;

35. Stresses the crucial role of forestry, along with farming, in the management of natural resources and land use in the EU’s and the world’s rural areas; recognises, in this respect, the variety in forest management, forest ownership, agroforestry and possibilities between the Member States;

36. Stresses that the methods used to achieve the objectives set out in the Clean Energy for all Europeans package must not lead to deforestation and forest degradation in other parts of the world; calls on the Commission, therefore, to review by 2021 the relevant aspects of the report annexed to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/807[14] and, if necessary, to revise this regulation without undue delay, and in any case before 2023, on the basis of scientific knowledge and in accordance with the precautionary principle; asks the Commission to reassess soy data and phase out high indirect land-use change (ILUC)-risk biofuels as soon as possible and by 2030 at the latest;

37. Stresses the need to reduce the EU’s consumption of wood and wood-based products by promoting a more circular economy, minimising the generation of waste and by promoting consumer awareness on the ecological consequences of wood-based commodities;

38. Recalls the letter by more than 700 scientists calling for a scientifically-sound revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, in particular the exclusion of certain types of woody biomass from counting towards the target and from the eligibility to receive support;

39. Denounces the increasing use of wood for biofuels and bioenergy, which is creating pressure on the EU’s and the world’s forests in the light of the rising demand for energy from renewable sources;

40. Notes that COP23 witnessed the ambition of a number of countries, rich in primary and highly-biodiverse forests and representing half of the world population, to increase the use of wood and other plant matter to generate energy[15]; reiterates that the EU should not set the wrong example and must ensure that rules guiding renewable energy policy do not lead to decimated and degraded ecosystems;

41. Urges the Commission and the Member States to take full account of the impact that the increased use of biofuels has on deforestation; calls on the Commission, therefore, to fundamentally reform EU bioenergy policies, namely by revising the Renewable Energy Directive;

42. Calls on the Commission to ensure effective measures for the sustainable production and use of wood fuels in view, inter alia, of the high level of imports of wood pellets into the EU and the potential risks that these imports pose to forests in third countries; considers that the principle of cascading use should be encouraged and can be used as a beneficial way to improve resource efficiency;

43. Recalls that around 2.6 billion people worldwide use traditional biomass for cooking, mainly wood and charcoal, while almost three quarters of them do not have access to efficient stoves; calls for the EU to step up support to third countries in order to switch to sustainable and renewable energy sources, and reduce the pressure of deforestation caused by the use of wood as fuel; highlights that if the energy systems of third countries were more decentralised, it would allow for a straightforward transition to sustainable renewable energy sources;

44. Notes that the social and economic importance of agriculture is expanding as the world population grows and requires increased production of food and agricultural commodities while mitigating climate change; notes with concern the estimate that 14 % of the world’s food is lost from harvest, slaughter and catch-up[16] and stresses the need for coherent actions to prevent food loss and food waste along the food chain and to respond rapidly to crises that could cause food shortages;

45. Stresses the importance of promoting sustainable diets, by raising consumer awareness of the impacts of consumption patterns and providing information on diets that are better for human health and have a lower environmental footprint;

46. Underlines the need for further significant progress to be made when it comes to developing and implementing an EU protein plant strategy and ensuring robust protein plant production within the EU in order to limit the danger of deforestation linked to these crops in other regions of the world and to reduce the dependence on imports and to reduce the pressure on forests due to land use change; stresses that such progress should be made, inter alia, through the wider adoption of crop rotation accompanied by support and guidance for farmers in areas suitable for cultivation of protein plants and that such action would reduce the dependence on imports, deforestation, degradation and pressure on forests due to land-use change; calls, therefore, for the introduction of sustainability criteria for plant protein imports;

47. Takes the view that the drivers of deforestation should be addressed in an EU policy framework, thereby ensuring the coherence of forest-related policies and reducing the pressure on forests; takes the view that such a policy framework would encourage ever more innovative, sustainable and efficient farming within and outside the EU, and would reduce food losses throughout the food chain through new technologies; points out that targets outlined in the framework can be met by giving farmers easy access to funding so that they can acquire cutting-edge high-precision farming technologies;

48. Stresses that, while farmers are at the heart of providing our basic agricultural and food needs, their work is dependent on natural resources such as soil, water and forests; notes that recognising the multifunctionality of forests is crucial in order to properly manage our global forest heritage; emphasises that the economic, social and environmental aspects – ranging from the traditional production of wood and other products, to ecosystem services, biodiversity and other environmental benefits such as carbon absorption and storage, which prevent soil erosion and improved air and water quality – are all linked and interdependent; stresses that such aspects require a holistic and coherent approach when it comes to protecting, restoring and managing forests and tackling the problem of deforestation;

49. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take specific steps to harmonise data and improve the availability of information and data obtained through existing and new monitoring and assessment tools relating to the world’s and the EU’s forests, and to ensure that the information is disseminated in a form that is accessible, user-friendly and comprehensible to regulatory and enforcement authorities, the public, consumers and the private sector and ready to use by policymakers; calls on the Member States to improve their statistics on the volume of wood they purchase, including the indication of how much sustainable, legal or FLEGT-licensed material might be included within their procurement;

50. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up efforts to improve the availability, quality and harmonisation of reliable information on forest resources and land-use change in order to inform policymaking through the participation of a wide range of stakeholders, including in partner countries.

51. Stresses that credible and reliable forest monitoring and information sharing are essential to improving forest governance and facilitating compliance with zero-deforestation commitments in partner countries; calls for the EU to step up financial and technical support to partner countries to achieve these ends and to help them develop the expertise necessary to improve local forest governance structures and accountability;

52. Stresses that illegal logging is an ongoing practice not only in third countries, but also in the EU; calls on the Commission and the Member States to act decisively to prevent and fight illegal logging; calls on the Commission to establish a European forest surveying and preservation system based on a monitoring system using GNSS (Galileo and Copernicus) and ground networks in order to monitor the activity from logging from the point of harvesting to the entry and exit points of timber processing companies; stresses that the Commission should focus on preventing illegal logging by enhancing the implementation of the Timber Regulation[17] and FLEGT; underlines the need to raise public awareness of the social and economic impacts of illegal logging and forest-related crimes;

53. Recalls that the risk of wildfires is expected to increase due to climate change; underlines the need, therefore, to considerably strengthen prevention and preparedness efforts by collaborating internationally on early warning tools, disaster resilience and risk mitigation measures; recommends that the Commission continue to support the development of global (such as the Global Wildfire Information System) and regional (such as the European Forest Fire Information System) information systems to monitor the impact of forest fires; calls on the Commission to use its expertise and expand the use of the Copernicus REDD+ satellite system to support global forest risk monitoring and deforestation in collaboration with third countries;

54. Reiterates that EU trade and investment policy should include binding and enforceable sustainable development chapters that fully respect international commitments, in particular the Paris Agreement, and are compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules; welcomes the Commission’s intention to make the Paris Agreement an essential element of all future trade and investment agreements; calls on the Commission to ensure that all future trade and investment agreements, both comprehensive and relevant sub-agreements, contain binding and enforceable provisions, including illegal logging-related anti-corruption provisions, to prevent deforestation and forest degradation;

55. Welcomes the ‘do no harm’ principle as highlighted in the communication on the European Green Deal; recommends, in that context, that the Commission better assess the impact of existing trade agreements on deforestation and ensure that more ambitious forest protection, biodiversity and sustainable forestry provisions are included in the trade and sustainable development chapters of all free trade and investment agreements;

56. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the impact of trade agreements on the state of forests, biodiversity and human rights is systematically evaluated within the framework of sustainability impact assessments and other relevant assessment methods, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, and that the conclusions of these assessments are subsequently fully taken into account when negotiating and concluding such agreements;

 

57. Emphasises the need to further improve implementation and enforcement of the Timber Regulation to best tackle trade in imported and domestic illegally harvested timber and timber products; notes, moreover, that imports of timber and timber products should be more thoroughly checked at EU borders to ensure that the imported products do indeed comply with the criteria necessary for their placing on the EU market; recalls that conflict timber is already an action area in the FLEGT Action Plan, but that the work done to address this issue has been insufficient; calls on the Commission to deliver on its commitment to extend the due diligence obligations provided by the Timber Regulation so as to cover conflict timber in the framework of the upcoming review; stresses that the strengthening of existing policies must go hand in hand with increased policy coherence to ensure that EU policies, including trade, do not create negative impacts on the environment or people;

58. Notes with regret that the current level of monitoring of imports of timber and timber products into the EU is insufficient, especially with regard to checking that they meet the criteria necessary for entry into the EU;

59. Recalls that the objective of the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) is to provide a legal framework aimed at ensuring that all timber and timber product imports from partner countries into the EU that are covered by VPAs have been produced legally; stresses that VPAs are generally intended to foster systemic changes in the forestry sector with the aim of developing sustainable management of forests, eradicating illegal logging and supporting worldwide efforts to stop deforestation and forest degradation; underlines that VPAs provide an important legal framework for both the EU and its partner countries, made possible by good cooperation and engagement on the part of the countries concerned;

60. Welcomes the progress made through FLEGT VPAs, and the increased dialogue between governments, industry and civil society in several countries resulting from the VPA process; notes that to date, seven countries have ratified VPAs with the EU (Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia, the Republic of the Congo and Vietnam), among which Indonesia is the first and so far the only VPA partner with FLEGT licencing, which has been operational since 2016, and that the EU has concluded negotiations and initialled VPAs with Honduras and Guyana, while negotiations are ongoing with six other countries (Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia); stresses that VPAs constitute a very effective framework within which to establish good partnerships with those countries, and that new VPAs with additional partners should be promoted; is convinced that the EU should continue to engage with FLEGT VPA countries to ensure it remains an attractive alternative to export markets with less stringent environmental standards; acknowledges the importance of the FLEGT Regulation[18] and the Timber Regulation in preventing the entry of illegally harvested timber into the EU market; calls for the EU to increase funding for FLEGT; welcomes the Commission’s upcoming fitness check of the FLEGT Regulation and the Timber Regulation, also as an opportunity to strengthen their enforcement and to widen their scope;

61. Calls on the Commission, when strengthening existing policies, to ensure the coherence of the FLEGT VPAs with all its policies, including in the fields of development, environment, agriculture and trade; calls on the Commission to negotiate timber import standards in future bilateral or multilateral trade-related agreements, in order to avoid undermining the successes achieved through the FLEGT Action Plan with timber-producing countries;

62. Believes that the FLEGT licensing process complements voluntary third-party certification, and that it is particularly beneficial for smaller operators that often struggle to obtain certification through private sector schemes;

63. Calls for the EU to strengthen international cooperation by increasing efforts in key international forums, including the WTO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); calls on the Commission to investigate avenues for multi-, pluri-, or bilateral cooperation, including speeding up negotiations at the WTO on an Environmental Goods Agreement, with trade partners and other importing countries in the fight against deforestation and climate change resulting from imports, while safeguarding avenues for legal trade and strengthening sustainable land management and agriculture, as well as land tenure and good governance in third countries;64.  Stresses that clear commitments to the fight against deforestation are included in all new trade agreements including Mercosur and others;

65. Calls on the Commission to make use of the new provisions of the Anti-Dumping Regulation[19] concerning environment and climate policies;

66. Calls for the EU to make a stronger link between trade and development policies, inter alia by better implementing the rules of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) in partner countries; calls on the Commission to work with GSP+ recipients on forestry management action plans to ensure the effective implementation of their environmental commitments.

67. Stresses that the climate emergency and the consequences of mass biodiversity loss constitute a grave threat to human rights; calls for the EU and the European External Action Service to thoroughly assess how their external action can best contribute to a holistic and human rights-based approach aimed at stopping biodiversity loss, forest deforestation and degradation; calls for the EU to further promote biodiversity as a human right in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework;

68. Stresses the importance of facilitating an inclusive partnership approach at all levels with third countries in order to further combat deforestation and forest degradation, strengthen sustainable land management and agriculture, as well as land tenure and good governance, while respecting human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, smallholders and local communities; calls on the Commission to strengthen cooperation with third countries through technical assistance, exchange of information and good practices in preservation, conservation and sustainable use of forests, the circular economy, a sustainable bio-economy, renewable energy, sustainable smart agriculture, agro-ecology and agroforestry, while recognising sustainability initiatives by the private sector, such as fair trade schemes; insists that the external dimension of the European Green Deal should be further strengthened through alliances and partnerships aimed at addressing global challenges like climate change and biodiversity while facilitating the socio-economic development of partner countries;

69. Welcomes the Commission’s plan to ensure that the topic of deforestation is part of country-level and regional political dialogues with partner countries and encourages the Commission to develop partnership agreements which include the protection of forests and ecosystems, the promotion of human rights, in particular the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including women, as well as support for the effective participation of civil society actors and environmentalists; stresses that such dialogues should be held with all producer countries, including developed countries;

70. Welcomes the Commission’s plan to support partner countries in designing and implementing frameworks that can encourage better forest protection and management and land governance, including, where relevant, the recognition of land tenure rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as related governance measures, such as mitigation and adaptation strategies, and recommends that the Commission include this aspect in its reflections and actions; points out that such frameworks should contribute not only to domestic needs but also to partner countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement as well as their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) under the Convention on Biological Diversity;

71. Calls for the EU to provide support to partner countries to implement actions that will help them comply with any measures the EU may set up to address imported deforestation and calls for cooperation to be stepped up and for the necessary and effective measures to be taken to prevent trade in goods related to deforestation and forest degradation from being diverted to other regions of the world; calls on the Commission to ensure that support provided by the EU for agricultural, infrastructure, mining, urban, peri-urban and rural policies in partner countries does not contribute to deforestation and forest degradation; invites the Commission, together with the Member States, to support an EU technical and financial mechanism which would catalyse funding to support partners’ efforts to sustainably use, protect and restore forests, improve sustainable, deforestation-free agricultural production, and address mining activities with adverse impacts on forests, under the upcoming Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI);

72. Calls for the forestry sector to feature strongly in the upcoming NDICI and for the full potential of the External Investment Plan and regional blending facilities to be exploited in leveraging private funding for sustainable forest management (ranging from proforestation to reforestation and afforestation), sustainable tourism and agroforestry, as well as the initiatives taken by companies to eliminate deforestation products from their supply chains, with the aim of achieving the SDGs;

73. Recommends that the Commission and the Member States identify effective methods for sharing with other countries innovative and sustainable EU practices and expertise on the circular economy, sustainable bio-economy, renewable energy, sustainable smart agriculture and other relevant areas;

74. Requests that the Commission regularly present a report covering the trends of deforestation and exploitation of high carbon stock areas, such as peatlands, in third countries;

75. Encourages the implementation of support measures intended to increase agricultural productivity in targeted countries in order to reduce the social and economic pressure linked to deforestation and the exploitation of peatlands;

76. Supports the Commission’s intention to promote, on behalf of the EU in key international forums, the adoption and implementation of strict commitments and regulations to halt deforestation and forest degradation and to support forest restoration; considers that the EU must lead by example; underlines the importance of taking national, regional and local expertise and practices into account when applying forest protective measures; welcomes the UN General Assembly’s decision to proclaim 2021-2030 as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration; underlines that this UN Decade positions the restoration of ecosystems as a major nature-based solution towards meeting a wide range of SDGs;

77. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to continue to support forest conservation through the creation, consolidation and effective management of networks of protected areas, including forest areas, such as NaturAfrica 2030, especially in countries that are major timber producers; recognises that this also contributes to the preservation of biodiversity and will strengthen the EU’s position at the next Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity;

78. Welcomes the Commission’s plan to strengthen international cooperation on policies and measures to protect, restore and sustainably manage the world’s forests to prevent global deforestation in key international forums; notes that the existing definition of a forest and the categorisation of forests, as well as other relevant concepts and principles related to sustainable forest management used by relevant institutions such as the FAO, are strictly technical and do not fully reflect the diversity of forest ecosystems; calls on the Commission and the Member States to endeavour to cooperate with these key international forums with a view, inter alia, to harmonising the terminology, concepts and statistics in use (e.g. intact and old-growth forests, plantation, sustainable forest management, close-to-nature management or deforestation-free supply chains) and to ensuring the coherence of the policies and measures adopted;

79. Calls on the Commission to restart the negotiations for an international forest convention that would contribute to the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests and would provide for their multiple and complementary functions and uses, including action towards reforestation, afforestation and forest conservation; stresses that such a convention should take into account the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of present and future generations and recognise the vital role of all types of forests in maintaining ecological processes and the ecological balance and supporting the identity, culture and rights of indigenous peoples, their communities and other communities and forest dwellers;

80. Calls on the Commission and Member States to systematically integrate provisions on deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the degradation of other natural ecosystems, biodiversity loss and human rights violations, into development policies and all investment and support programmes aimed at producer countries and to consider making investments and support conditional on compliance with these elements;

81. Recognises the relevance of international frameworks such as the VGGT in offering legal clarity and internationally accepted standards of good practice for the responsible governance of land tenure; invites the Commission to support the diffusion and use of the VGGT at global, regional and country level; stresses the need for effective independent monitoring and enforcement, including appropriate dispute resolution and grievance mechanisms, to ensure compliance with the VGGT;

82. Calls for cooperation between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) to be strengthened in order to tackle the increasing problem of deforestation and desertification in ACP states through the development of action plans aimed at improving the management and conservation of forests, taking into account the causes of deforestation from within and outside the forest sector and acknowledging the importance of tropical timber for the economies of the ACP states with timber-producing forests;

83. Urges the EU and its Member States to ensure consistency among policies, in accordance with the principle of policy coherence for development set out in Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

84. Acknowledges and supports the FAO’s conclusions that globally sustainable land use is important in the fight against poverty;

85. Points out that forests make a significant contribution to global food security, livelihoods and nutrition in developing countries and are an important source of income for local communities; recalls that progress towards sustainable agriculture, food security and sustainable forest management should be made simultaneously as core elements of the 2030 Agenda;

86. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

 


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Forests cover some 30% of land area and account for 80% of biodiversity. This statement may be sufficient in itself to justify the need to protect them. However, this list of reasons is far from exhaustive. Forests have significant social, cultural and spiritual value, and at the same time fulfil a whole host of functions, from the productive to the equally important non-productive - environmental and social. Among other things, forests regulate the water cycle, improve air quality and absorb carbon dioxide. They also serve as habitats for many species, including many endangered species, and as a home to many local communities, including indigenous peoples. The pressure to realise the non-productive functions of forests has been steadily increasing over the last few decades, and there is a growing demand for authentic wild nature across the globe. This combination of factors has led to the strict protection of forests becoming one of the priorities of the global public.

 

The diversity of forest types at present is unprecedented - from native tropical forests and coastal mangroves, through temperate forests to subarctic boreal forests. When reflecting on the further development of legislation aimed at better protecting the world’s forests, diversity is one of the key aspects to be kept in mind at all times. The solutions that are adopted must necessarily reflect this diversity. It would be almost impossible to find one universal solution for all kinds of forest stands. One rather negative observation is linked to the this situation, namely that the pressure on forests is increasing across different geographical zones, leading to the gradual degradation of these forests and often to their disappearance. Between 1990 and 2016 alone, the world lost 1.3 million square kilometres of forest as a result of human activity, which amounts to 800 football fields disappearing every hour. The Commission's objective set out in the Communication on deforestation COM(2008)645 final, namely to reduce gross tropical forest loss by 50% by 2020, will almost certainly not be met. At the same time, our relationship to forests can be seen as a reflection of the cultural maturity of humanity.

 

Massive deforestation and forest degradation largely occur in tropical forests. For example, mangrove forests once stretched over 75% of tropical coastlines, while today more than half of these have been destroyed, mainly due to construction, aquaculture, pollution and unsustainable farming. The Amazon – which is, in view of its size, one of the priority areas for protecting the world’s forests – is facing severe pressure due to the Brazilian Government’s de facto support for deforestation and due to the 50% increase in the number of deliberate fires in 2019 compared to the previous year, priority areas for protection of world forests. It is tropical forests that represent a large part of the territory traditionally inhabited by indigenous peoples. They own or manage 35% of native, and particularly tropical, forests. At the same time, studies show that deforestation rates in indigenous territories with established land tenure systems are two to three times lower than outside those areas[20].

 

In the context of the important positive role played by indigenous tropical forests, it should also be stressed that newly planted forests cannot fully replace native forests that have high carbon stocks and are characterised by significant age, unique ecological characteristics and the highest level of biodiversity. Moreover, in many cases the destroyed native forests cannot be recovered, with the mangrove forests mentioned above serving as an example.

 

However, despite the alarming scale of problems in non-European forests, it should be stressed that the state of forests in the European Union is not satisfactory either, and despite increasing public pressure to realise the non-productive functions of forests, their quality has been declining in the long term. Europe's forests are not immune to the fundamental problems common to forests around the world, namely deforestation and illegal logging. The way in which they are managed is also unsatisfactory in many places in Europe[21].

 

As mentioned above, forests are habitats for many endangered species, among them the most endangered. Deforestation is thus one of the root causes of the loss of global biodiversity, which is currently progressing at an unprecedented pace[22]. The world is thus losing not only plant species, but also an alarming amount of animal species, some of which, often living in tropical forests, have been exterminated by humans before they can be discovered and named. Tropical forest plants, which make up a mere 7% of the world's vegetation, constitute a kind of pharmacy for the world; more than a quarter of modern medicines, with a value of EUR 100 billion a year, come from tropical forest plants. At the same time, biodiversity loss is not limited to species directly linked to forests. The mangrove forests mentioned above, which play an important role in the protection of coral reefs as they capture nutrients and sediments and provide protection from thermal and photooxidative stress, serve as an example.

 

Much of the timber harvested is used as fuel, with firewood being the most important forestry product in many developing countries; for example, in sub-Saharan Africa, 80% of the population still uses wood for cooking. At the same time, demand for firewood is expected to increase, and by 2030, 2.8 billion people will be dependent on this source of fuel, compared to 2 billion at present. However, the areas most vulnerable to deforestation are, at the same time, areas with the highest number of hours of sunshine per year, thus allowing for a gradual transition to renewable energy sources.

 

The impact of deforestation on climate change is also crucial. Greenhouse gas emissions from land use and changes in land use, in particular in relation to deforestation, account for almost 12% of total emissions, making them the second most important cause of climate change after burning fossil fuels. In addition to logging, the main reason for deforestation is for agricultural activities on deforested land. Agriculture is responsible for 80% of deforestation worldwide, with 48% caused by subsistence farming and 32% by commercial agriculture; other reasons for deforestation are logging (14%), charcoal production (5%), urban expansion, infrastructure development and mining. Moreover, the already existing agricultural area is often managed in an inappropriate way, which leads to the deterioration of soil fertility and creates incentives for deforestation in order to create new areas for agricultural activity. The European Union itself, as an importer, is directly involved in international trade in deforestation-related products, such as palm oil, meat, soya, cocoa, maize, wood and rubber, including in the form of processed products or services, with a share of the total world consumption of these products that reaches 10%.

 

When considering what direction forest protection should take in the future, the productive function currently fulfilled by forests cannot be ignored. Measures should therefore be taken to facilitate a just transition to more sustainable forms of farming. Thus, in the context of the current unsustainable form of forest land use, which leads to deforestation and forest degradation, alternative ways of subsistence must be sought for those who are dependent for their livelihoods on forests or on agricultural land, which often expands into forests. In view of the above-mentioned growing calls made primarily by the inhabitants of developed countries for increased non-productive use of forests, a positive economic impulse in this direction can be created by supporting and further developing tourism which respects nature, which would also create alternative ways of earning a livelihood in forest areas. At present, forests are a source of livelihood and income for about 25% of the world's population, and their destruction has serious repercussions on the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, including indigenous peoples who are heavily dependent on forest ecosystems. In addition, protecting existing forests and sustainably increasing forest cover can provide livelihoods, increase income for local communities and allow for sustainable bio-economies to be developed. In this respect, forests represent a promising green economic sector, with the potential to create between 10 and 16 million sustainable and decent jobs worldwide. Women's special role in forest protection[23] must also be taken into account. Although forest degradation harms entire communities that depend on forests, the loss of forest-related resources is usually particularly burdensome for women who use these resources in caring for their families.

 

In many countries, deforestation is also due to the lack of appropriate policies (such as land-use planning), unclear ownership relationships and other land rights, poor governance and law enforcement, illegal activities and insufficient investment in sustainable forest management. 86% of the world's forests are publicly owned, but in practice around 60% of land and resources across the globe are managed on the basis of customary rules, of which less than a fifth are formally recognised. Appropriate administrative and legal instruments, e.g. strategic instruments such as territorial protection aimed at preserving integrity and at preventing the fragmentation of territory and unsustainable forms of forest management, are a prerequisite for preserving the natural functions of forests.

 

Sustainable forest management certification schemes could also play an important positive role in rationalising the economic exploitation of forests, provided that their main purpose is to combat deforestation rather than frequently conflicting commercial and other interests. In this connection, it must unfortunately be noted that the current forms of certification often fail and do not meet the stated objectives[24].

The Commission Communication COM(2019)352 final served as a starting point in the preparation of this report. This document sets out, among other things, five priorities for stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests. While this Communication can be seen as a good first step, it should also be noted that the document as a whole is insufficiently ambitious and often too abstract in some of the proposals it puts forward, given the importance of the functions that forests perform and the need to protect them effectively.

 

When identifying problems and then taking appropriate measures to protect world forests, the initial considerations must include an ambition to refine and harmonise the definitions of relevant terms. The current definitions adopted by the relevant international forest management bodies, despite the significant difference outlined above between native forests and restored forests, are often strictly technical and do not sufficiently cover the distinction between native forest, restored forest and thus forest plantation. This may ultimately lead to very significant distortions concerning size and other forest data in individual areas, which may prevent appropriate and effective remedial action from being taken. It is the skills of forest experts and forest ecology experts, the financial resources at its disposal, and its international influence that allow the EU to play a significant and positive role in the protection of the world’s forests. The present draft report seeks to take all these aspects into account.


 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT (15.6.2020)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on the EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2156(INI))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion (*): <Depute>Hildegard Bentele</Depute>

(*) Associated committee – Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Calls for the EU to increase its investments in programmes for research and innovation, with the aim of strengthening climate-resilient agriculture, sustainable intensification and crop diversification, agro-ecology, agroforestry and nature-based solutions in line with the European Green Deal and the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on climate change and land; stresses equally the need to invest in community-based forest management; insists that the EU should strive towards reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, restoring damaged forests and putting a stop to illegal logging and the expansion of land use at the expense of forests and natural ecosystems, while improving livelihoods and food security and providing sustainable socioeconomic opportunities for a growing population; recalls that newly planted forests cannot replace primary forests and their capacity for removing and storing additional carbon dioxide; underlines, therefore, the importance of proforestation in addressing the dual global crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as afforestation and reforestation to increase tree cover and regenerate soils with a view to achieving climate neutrality, as indicated in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 targets;

2. Underlines that EU cooperation measures should aim to tackle the root causes of deforestation, namely corruption, weak governance and institutions, shrinking civic space, the lack of trained personnel and a definition of forests, forest criminality and impunity, and insecure land tenure as major causes of illegal logging, fraud, tax evasion and violations of human rights; stresses that sustainable land use planning, with a view to securing the land tenure rights of forest-dependent communities and of indigenous people, should be at the core of donor initiatives and programmes on agriculture and forestry;

3. Recognises the relevance of international frameworks such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) in offering legal clarity and internationally accepted standards of good practice for the responsible governance of land tenure; invites the Commission to support the diffusion and use of the VGGT at global, regional and country level; stresses the need for effective independent monitoring and enforcement, including appropriate dispute resolution and grievance mechanisms, to ensure compliance with the VGGT;

4. Points out that increasing levels of deforestation and damage to forests are not only detrimental to sustainable forestry and biodiversity, but also have an adverse impact on people’s lives and rights, for example in the context of resettlement or flight from the land, if land rights or labour rights are disregarded;

5. Stresses that in its Special Report on climate change and land, the IPCC explicitly underlines the critical role of traditional knowledge, indigenous peoples and local communities in stewarding and safeguarding the world’s lands and forests, as well as the importance of securing community tenure land rights to combat climate change; recalls that these groups, together with environmental human rights defenders, are increasingly under threat, facing intimidation and human rights violations in their efforts to protect their forests, land and environment;

6. Recalls that indigenous people, local communities, smallholder farmers and women possess and heavily rely on indispensable knowledge regarding forests; calls for the EU to ensure the recognition of their land tenure and human rights as a matter of social justice, in line with the FAO VGGT, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169, as well as their effective participation in the design and implementation of EU development programmes which have an impact on them and in the enforcement of forest protection measures, building upon the lessons learnt from the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme; calls for the EU, furthermore, to increase the transparency and accountability of Voluntary Partnership Agreements;

7. Highlights that indigenous women and women farmers play a central role in protecting forest ecosystems; notes with concern, however, the absence of women’s inclusion and empowerment in the natural resource management process; believes that gender equality in forestry education plays a key role in the sustainable management of forests and should be reflected in the EU action plan;

8. Draws attention to the importance of supporting small and medium-sized forestry enterprises through knowledge transfer and the provision of technical and financial assistance and training;

9. Points out that the EU has wide-ranging expertise in the area of sustainable energy supply and, through research and cooperation, should make available and pass on knowledge to the countries worst affected by deforestation, with a view to achieving the sustainable forest management goals set out in the 2030 Agenda;

10. Calls for the forestry sector to feature strongly in the upcoming Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and for the full potential of the External Investment Plan and regional blending facilities to be exploited in leveraging private funding for sustainable forest management (ranging from proforestation to reforestation and afforestation), sustainable tourism and agroforestry, as well as the initiatives taken by companies to eliminate deforestation products from their supply chains, with the aim of achieving the SDGs; calls on the private sector to be proactive in the fight against deforestation embodied in their supply chains and investments, fulfilling their zero deforestation commitments without delay and ensuring full transparency with regard to compliance with their commitments; calls on the Commission to ensure effective implementation of the FAO VGGT in its External Investment Plan;

11. Emphasises the therapeutic function of forests in the highly urbanised societies of Europe, as well as the increasing importance of urban forests and trees in cities, which have direct positive consequences for human health and the quality of life of citizens; stresses that forests also contribute to the socioeconomic development of the world’s rural territories, including through the distribution of resources to the poorest areas thanks to forest industry, non-wood forest products and ecotourism;

12. Calls for the EU to strengthen its standards in terms of the mandatory disclosure by companies of information related to the production or processing of forest-risk commodities within the remit of the revision of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive[25] (NFRD), as part of its efforts to scale up sustainable finance;

13. Calls for the EU to pay specific attention, in its cooperation with developing countries, to forests in coastal areas, such as mangrove forests, which are particularly impacted by climate change and human activity and represent a great opportunity for preservation, adaptation and mitigation policies;

14. Underlines that protecting biodiversity and mitigating climate change are not automatically mutually supportive; calls for the Renewable Energy Directive[26] (RED II) to be revised to make it consistent with the EU’s international commitments under the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity, which would entail inter alia introducing social sustainability criteria and taking into account the risks of land-grabbing; stresses, to this end, that RED II should comply with international tenure rights standards, namely ILO Convention No 169 and the FAO VGGT;

15. Calls for the EU to continue to lead global efforts in drawing up and implementing mitigation and adaptation strategies designed to curb deforestation and forest degradation, encourage forest restoration and ensure that the progress achieved in the area of sustainable forestry is maintained in the context of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs;

16. Urges the EU to discuss deforestation, forest degradation and the destruction of natural ecosystems in bilateral and regional dialogues with partner countries in order to encourage them to include forests and related governance measures, such as mitigation and adaptation strategies, in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, as well as in their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP) under the Convention on Biological Diversity, to work on internationally binding forest protection schemes and to coordinate with international initiatives;

17. Welcomes the commitment by the Commission to increase supply chain sustainability and transparency; recalls that voluntary measures and certification schemes alone are not sufficient to stop deforestation; calls for the adoption of an EU legislative framework based on mandatory due diligence in forest-risk commodity supply chains, drawing on lessons learnt from existing legislation, to prevent, address and mitigate deforestation and human rights violations and integrate small farmers’ products into sustainable supply chains, while ensuring a level playing field to avoid income loss in developing countries and unfair competition; stresses that such a legislative framework should apply to all economic actors in the supply chain, be accompanied by a robust enforcement regime and include effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties for non-compliance;  underlines the need to ensure that this new legal framework does not lead to an excessive administrative burden for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); invites the Commission to promote such a regulatory framework at international level in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; is convinced that the EU Forest Strategy should promote and share best practices and results in the forest sector and improve cooperation among Member States;

18. Encourages the EU to provide assistance in strengthening surveillance of deforestation and illegal activities;

19. Calls for the EU to make sure that policies in all areas are coherent with its commitments to protecting and restoring forests, while mainstreaming its biodiversity objectives, and that global supply chains and financial flows only promote legal, sustainable and deforestation-free production and do not result in human rights violations; recalls the importance of robust, coherent and enforceable sustainability chapters in trade agreements, along with the effective implementation of multilateral environmental and climate agreements; invites the Commission to carefully assess the impacts of trade agreements on deforestation by means of the Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIAs) and other relevant assessments, on the basis of solid data and evaluation methodologies; urges the Commission to include binding and enforceable provisions to halt illegal logging, deforestation, forest degradation and human rights violations and to ensure responsible business conduct, including through provisions to guarantee the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples and local communities and the recognition of the land tenure rights of forest-dependent communities and indigenous people, as well as binding mechanisms to oversee the effective implementation of these provisions and to seek redress, notably by providing an accessible complaint mechanism; calls for the EU to address the trade in forest-risk commodities via new bilateral partnerships with producer countries, drawing on the lessons learnt from the FLEGT VPAs, with cacao presenting an opportunity for early progress.

20. Calls for EU-ACP cooperation to be strengthened in order to tackle the increasing problem of deforestation and desertification in ACP states through the development of action plans aimed at improving the management and conservation of forests, taking into account the causes of deforestation from within and outside the forest sector and acknowledging the importance of tropical timber for the economies of the ACP states with timber-producing forests.

21. Calls on the Commission to include illegal forest practices, such as the underpricing of wood in concessions, the harvesting of protected trees, the smuggling of forest products across borders, illegal logging and the processing of raw forest materials without a licence, within the scope of enforceable anti-corruption provisions in free trade agreements;

22. Emphasises the link between health, the environment and climate change; stresses that several scientific studies show the interlinkages between biodiversity loss and the rise of pandemics, notably zoonotic diseases linked to deforestation and the degradation of natural habitats; calls for the EU, as part of the Green Deal’s external dimension, to step up its technical assistance to and the sharing of information and best practices with third countries in the area of sustainable forest management; urges the Commission and the Member States to work in cooperation with international organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the FAO to prevent the proliferation of health crises and pandemics in the future;

23. Recalls that about 2.6 billion people worldwide use traditional biomass, mainly wood and charcoal, for cooking, three quarters of whom do not have access to efficient stoves; calls for the EU to provide faster and increased support to third countries to enable them to focus on sustainable and clean energy sources and thus reduce the deforestation pressure caused by the use of wood as fuel; encourages actions to increase forest cover and other wooded land where relevant; calls on the Commission to address the trade-offs resulting from the increasing demand for wood for materials, energy and the bioeconomy by developing EU criteria for sustainable forest management with concrete benchmarks and thresholds and promoting proforestation as an effective solution to address climate change and biodiversity loss;

24. Points out that the Commission’s bioeconomy strategy, which is heavily based on the use of biomass, raises new challenges for the protection and restoration of forests; stresses that the increasing use of wood for biofuels and bioenergy is creating pressure on the world’s forests and is concerned that the rising demand for bioenergy products, if not duly monitored, might lead to unsustainable practices; reiterates that EU bioenergy policy should respond to strict environmental and social criteria and stresses the need to introduce more stringent forest biomass criteria to prevent deforestation abroad; urges the EU and its Member States, therefore, to ensure consistency among policies, in accordance with the principle of policy coherence for development (PCD) set out in Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU);

25. Points out that forests make a significant contribution to global food security, livelihoods and nutrition in developing countries and are an important source of income for local communities; recalls that progress towards sustainable agriculture, food security and sustainable forest management should be made simultaneously as core elements of the 2030 Agenda;

26. Recalls that approximately 80 % of global deforestation is caused by the expansion of land used for agriculture, which is also aggravated by other legal operations for alternative land use, notably cattle ranching, mining and drilling activities, and that EU consumption represents around 10 % of the global share of deforestation, through its high import dependency on protein feeds and agricultural commodities such as palm oil, meat, soy, cocoa, maize, timber and rubber; calls for stronger sustainability criteria to be introduced for feed imports, in an effort to ensure that in third countries protein plants are cultivated in a sustainable manner which is not damaging to the environment or social structures; calls on the Commission to address the significant amount of embodied deforestation and forest degradation linked to animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs and to reduce EU consumption of forest-risk commodities;

27. Asks the Commission and its Member States to maintain their commitment to fighting illegal logging and the trade in illegal timber and forest-risk commodities; calls for the EU to ensure the traceability of timber and timber products throughout the supply chain and to integrate forest diplomacy into its climate policy, with the aim of encouraging countries which process and/or import significant quantities of tropical timber to adopt effective legislation banning the importation of illegally harvested timber;

28. Calls on the Commission to expand the use of the Copernicus REDD+ satellite system to support global forest-risk and deforestation monitoring in collaboration with developing countries, and to strengthen wildfire prevention and preparedness efforts by collaborating with developing countries on early warning tools, disaster resilience, risk mitigation measures, innovation, digitalisation and knowledge transfer; calls on the Commission, in this context, to work with the private sector and other development actors to assess new disaster risk finance and insurance solutions for catastrophic events affecting forests;


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

15.6.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Hildegard Bentele, Dominique Bilde, Udo Bullmann, Catherine Chabaud, Antoni Comín i Oliveres, Ryszard Czarnecki, Gianna Gancia, Charles Goerens, Mónica Silvana González, Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, György Hölvényi, Rasa Juknevičienė, Beata Kempa, Erik Marquardt, Norbert Neuser, Janina Ochojska, Jan-Christoph Oetjen, Michèle Rivasi, Marc Tarabella, Tomas Tobé, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Bernhard Zimniok

Substitutes present for the final vote

Barry Andrews, Marlene Mortler, Patrizia Toia

 


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

24

+

EPP

Anna‑Michelle Asimakopoulou, Hildegard Bentele, György Hölvényi, Rasa Juknevičienė, Janina Ochojska, Tomas Tobé, Marlene Mortler

S&D

Udo Bullmann, Mónica Silvana González, Norbert Neuser, Marc Tarabella, Patrizia Toia

RENEW

Catherine Chabaud, Charles Goerens, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Barry Andrews

ID

Dominique Bilde, Gianna Gancia

GREENS/EFA

Pierrette Herzberger‑Fofana, Erik Marquardt, Michèle Rivasi

ECR

Beata Kempa

GUE/NGL

Miguel Urbán Crespo

NI

Antoni Comín i Oliveres

 

1

-

ID

Bernhard Zimniok

 

1

0

ECR

Ryszard Czarnecki

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE (27.5.2020)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on the EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2156(INI))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion (*): <Depute>Karin Karlsbro</Depute>

(*) Associated committee – Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Recalls that the objective of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) is to provide a legal framework aimed at ensuring that all timber and timber product imports from partner countries into the EU that are covered by VPAs have been produced legally; stresses that VPAs are generally intended to foster systemic changes in the forestry sector with the aim of developing sustainable management of forests, eradicating illegal logging and supporting worldwide efforts to stop deforestation and forest degradation; underlines that VPAs provide an important legal framework for both the EU and its partner countries, made possible by good cooperation and engagement on the part of the countries concerned;

2. Welcomes the progress made through FLEGT VPAs, and the increased dialogue between governments, industry and civil society in several countries resulting from the VPA process; notes that to date, seven countries have ratified VPAs with the EU (Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ghana , Indonesia, Liberia, the Republic of the Congo and Vietnam), among which Indonesia is the first and so far the only VPA partner with FLEGT licencing, which has been operational since 2016, and that the EU has concluded negotiations and initialled VPAs with Honduras and Guyana, while negotiations are ongoing with six other countries (Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia); stresses that VPAs constitute a very effective framework within which to establish good partnerships with those countries, and that new VPAs with additional partners should be promoted; is convinced that the EU should continue to engage with FLEGT VPA countries to ensure it remains an attractive alternative to export markets with less stringent environmental standards; acknowledges the importance of the FLEGT Regulation and the EU Timber Regulation in preventing the entry of illegally harvested timber to the EU market; calls for the EU to increase funding for FLEGT; welcomes the Commission’s upcoming fitness check of the FLEGT Regulation and the EU Timber Regulation, also as an opportunity to strengthen their enforcement and to widen their scope;

3. Emphasises the need to further improve the implementation and enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation to best preserve sustainable trade in imported and domestically produced timber and timber products; repeats its demand that imports of timber and timber products should be more thoroughly checked at the EU borders in order to ensure that the imported products do indeed comply with the criteria for entry into the EU; stresses that the Commission needs to ensure that customs controls throughout the EU follow the same standards, by means of a direct unified customs control mechanism, in coordination with Member States and in full compliance with the principle of subsidiarity;

4. Calls on the Commission, when strengthening existing policies, to ensure the coherence of the FLEGT VPAs with all its policies, including in the fields of development, environment, agriculture and trade; calls on the Commission to negotiate timber import standards in future bilateral or multilateral trade-related agreements, in order to avoid undermining the successes achieved through the FLEGT Action Plan with timber-producing countries;

5. Calls on the Commission to step up capacity support to FLEGT VPA countries in order to accelerate the implementation of the commitments made, including combatting corruption and greenwashing, and enhancing good governance and transparency; stresses that corruption linked to illegal logging should be addressed in EU trade policy; calls on the Commission to ensure the inclusion of more ambitious and fully implemented sustainable forestry and ecosystem protection provisions in the trade and sustainable development chapters of free trade agreements, including illegal logging-related anti-corruption provisions; welcomes the fact that the Paris Agreement will be an essential element of future agreements; calls on the EU to enhance collaboration with organisations that aim to prevent global forestry crime;

6. Calls on the EU to strengthen international cooperation by increasing efforts in key international forums, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); calls on the Commission to investigate avenues for multi-, pluri-, or bilateral cooperation, including speeding up negotiations at the WTO on an Environmental Goods Agreement, with trade partners and other importing countries in the fight against deforestation and climate change resulting from imports, while safeguarding avenues for legal trade and strengthening sustainable land management and agriculture, as well as land tenure and good governance in third countries;

7. Notes with concern that research continues to affirm a worrying link between zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19, and deforestation, climate change and biodiversity loss;

8. Welcomes the EU communication of 23 July 2019 on stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests; recalls that sustainable and inclusive forest management and governance is essential to the achievement of the objectives set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal; underlines the importance of measures ensuring that demand is in line with the stated goals, as the EU is a significant importer of commodities associated with deforestation, such as soy, palm oil, eucalyptus, rubber, maize, beef, leather and cocoa, which are often drivers of global deforestation; highlights the fact that commodities like cocoa offer an early chance to make progress on such an approach, learning lessons from the FLEGT VPA process; believes that the EU needs to ensure that it only promotes global supply chains and financial flows which are sustainable and deforestation-free and which do not result in human rights violations; calls on the Commission to base any future proposals regarding forest-risk commodities on lessons learned from the FLEGT Action Plan, the EU Timber Regulation, the Conflict Mineral Regulation, the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, legislation on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other EU initiatives to regulate supply chains; takes note with interest of the Commission’s announcement of future proposals on due diligence throughout the supply chain for products to be put on the internal market; calls for the role of civil society, as a crucial source of information on deforestation, to be strengthened; urges the Commission, in developing any such proposals, to ensure that such commodities and products do not cause deforestation, forest degradation, the conversion or degradation of natural ecosystems or related human rights violations, and that they apply to the whole supply chain and cover OECD guidelines on social responsibility and human rights in trade, are WTO compatible, and that after careful assessment the proposals are found to be functional and applicable to all actors on the market, including SMEs;

9. Underlines the fact that the drivers of deforestation go beyond the forest sector per se and relate to a wide range of issues, such as land tenure, protection of the rights of indigenous people, agricultural policies, climate change, democracy, human rights and political freedom; recalls that indigenous women and women farmers play a central role in protecting forest ecosystems; calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to address deforestation holistically through a coherent policy framework, while ensuring the conservation of ecosystems; believes that gender equality in forestry education is a key point in the sustainable management of forests which should be reflected in the EU Action Plan; recalls the importance of respecting the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; supports the ongoing negotiations to create a binding UN instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights and stresses the importance of the EU being proactively involved in this process;

10. Believes that the FLEGT licensing process complements voluntary third-party certification, and that it is particularly beneficial for smaller operators that often struggle to obtain certification through private sector schemes;

11. Is convinced that green public procurement policies can play an important role in encouraging trade in legal and sustainable timber; notes, however, that most EU Member States have mandatory purchasing policies for central government departments and voluntary policies for local authorities that undertake the majority of public spending; calls on the Member States to improve their statistics on the volume of wood they purchase, including the indication of how much sustainable, legal or FLEGT-licensed material might be included within their procurement;

12. Recalls the fact that conflict timber is already an action area in the FLEGT Action Plan but that insufficient work has been done to address this issue; calls on the Commission to deliver on its commitment to extend the due diligence obligations provided by the EU Timber Regulation so as to cover conflict timber in the framework of the upcoming review;

13. Stresses that clear commitments to the fight against deforestation are included in all new trade agreements including Mercosur and others;

14. Calls on the Commission to make use of the new provisions of the anti-dumping regulation concerning environment and climate policies;

15. Calls for the EU to make a stronger link between trade and development policies, inter alia by better implementing the rules of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) in partner countries; calls on the Commission to work with GSP+ recipients on forestry management action plans to ensure the effective implementation of their environmental commitments.

 


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

28.5.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

40

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Barry Andrews, Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Tiziana Beghin, Geert Bourgeois, Saskia Bricmont, Jordi Cañas, Anna Cavazzini, Miroslav Číž, Arnaud Danjean, Paolo De Castro, Emmanouil Fragkos, Raphaël Glucksmann, Markéta Gregorová, Enikő Győri, Roman Haider, Christophe Hansen, Heidi Hautala, Danuta Maria Hübner, Herve Juvin, Karin Karlsbro, Maximilian Krah, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Bernd Lange, Gabriel Mato, Emmanuel Maurel, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Samira Rafaela, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Massimiliano Salini, Helmut Scholz, Liesje Schreinemacher, Sven Simon, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler, Jan Zahradil

Substitutes present for the final vote

Seán Kelly, Jean-Lin Lacapelle

 

 

 


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

40

+

ECR

Geert Bourgeois, Emmanouil Fragkos, Jan Zahradil

GUE/NGL

Emmanuel Maurel, Helmut Scholz

ID

Roman Haider, Herve Juvin, Maximilian Krah, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Jean‑Lin Lacapelle

NI

Tiziana Beghin, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó

PPE

Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Arnaud Danjean, Enikő Győri, Christophe Hansen, Danuta Maria Hübner, Seán Kelly, Gabriel Mato, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Simon, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler

RENEW

Barry Andrews, Jordi Cañas, Karin Karlsbro, Samira Rafaela, Liesje Schreinemacher, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne

S&D

Miroslav Číž, Paolo De Castro, Raphaël Glucksmann, Bernd Lange, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt

VERTS/ALE

Saskia Bricmont, Anna Cavazzini, Markéta Gregorová, Heidi Hautala

 

0

-

 

 

 

0

0

 

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (3.6.2020)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on the EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2156(INI))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion (*): <Depute>Juozas Olekas</Depute>

 

(*) Associated committee – Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Stresses that, while farmers are at the heart of providing our basic agricultural and food needs, their work is dependent on natural resources such as soil, water and forests; notes that recognising the multifunctionality of forests is crucial in order to properly manage our global forest heritage; emphasises that the economic, social and environmental aspects – ranging from the traditional production of wood and other products, to ecosystem services, biodiversity and other environmental benefits such as carbon absorption and storage, which prevent soil erosion and improved air and water quality – are all linked and interdependent; stresses that such aspects require a holistic and coherent approach when it comes to protecting, restoring and managing forests and tackling the problem of deforestation;

2. Recalls that many farmers are aware of forests as an integral and necessary part of the landscape for their relevant ecological, economic and social functions, and that historically they strived to protect, use and regenerate forests, and continue to do so now; notes that certain local communities and indigenous peoples have used traditional farming techniques for centuries to preserve forests, with their special understanding of sustainable land use; emphasises that, in many parts of the world, the rights of these communities and peoples are under threat;

3. Emphasises that 30 % of the earth’s surface is covered by forests and that these forests are home to 80 % of the earth’s biodiversity; points out that preservation and sustainable use of forests is an active form of climate protection and is fundamental to the well-being of our society and rural areas and that tropical forests in particular have a vital role to play in the fight against climate change and must be protected accordingly; reiterates and welcomes the Commission’s statement outlined in its communication of 23 July 2019 entitled ‘Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests (COM(2019)0352) that old-growth and primary forests are irreplaceable; urges that this understanding should underpin policy and strategy discussions and law enforcement effectiveness in order to preserve and restore these ecosystems and their remnants in the EU and elsewhere;

4. Is deeply concerned that, despite the efforts of the EU and its Member States, the EU’s commitment to halting deforestation by 2020 as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is unlikely to be met, and therefore strongly supports the Commission in its proposal to step up action in protecting and restoring the world’s forests; highlights the fact that imports of embodied deforestation linked to crop and livestock products act as significant agricultural drivers of deforestation; underlines that, in addition to agricultural commodities, other raw materials also contribute to large-scale deforestation. and that mitigating their negative impact will require the setting aside and highest protection of large enough areas of intact forests in order to sustain the large-scale ecological processes that are crucial in order to adapt forests to climate change; emphasises, furthermore, that the existing legal provisions and implementing rules on the environmental and social sustainability of production must be fully carried out to be effective; considers that the EU must address the level of demand for forest-risk commodities, including in agriculture, by promoting more local sourcing and supporting the use of legally and sustainably sourced feedstocks, with more focus on pasture-based grazing;

5. Stresses that the deforestation of rain forests driven by land-use change reduces the carbon sequestration potential and thereby significantly contributes to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions;

6. Points out that the four main palm oil certification schemes (RSPO14, ISCC15, MSPO16 and ISPO17) differ significantly as regards their requirements, effectiveness, uptake and transparency; highlights the fact that inconsistencies in their implementation and enforcement have been brought to light and that none of the systems cover all of the environmental and social issues addressed in the political objectives set by the EU and the UN; calls, as a matter of urgency, for certification schemes to be adjusted accordingly and for determined efforts to develop deforestation-free supply chains;

7. Recognises the importance of sound forest and agricultural management; considers, therefore, that all further actions must address issues such as preventing unsustainable land use and management practices, coping with natural disturbances and mitigating climate change, and tackling global deforestation; stresses that such issues have severe environmental and social costs, including the loss of biodiversity due to destruction and fragmentation of natural habitats (including those of endangered species), and have a negative impact on the livelihoods of local communities by disregarding their rights and interests;

8. Notes that the social and economic importance of agriculture is expanding as the world population grows and requires increased production of food and agricultural commodities while mitigating climate change; notes with concern the estimate that 14 % of the world’s food is lost from harvest, slaughter and catch-up[27] and stresses the need for coherent actions to prevent food loss and food waste along the food chain and to respond rapidly to crises that could cause food shortages;

9. Draws attention to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Ministerial Katowice Declaration on Forests for the Climate adopted by the international community on 12 December 2018 , which emphasises the importance of forests and timber use for climate protection and sets those issues in the context of other international forest-related objectives and decisions; notes that, as stated in the declaration, these objectives can only be achieved by means of multifunctional active forest management, which means a management strategy that takes account of and strikes a balance between all forest-related objectives, such as carbon storage, species and soil protection, extraction of raw materials, leisure and food production;

10. Stresses the crucial role of forestry, along with farming, in the management of natural resources and land use in the EU’s and the world’s rural areas; recognises, in this respect, the variety in forest management, forest ownership, agroforestry and possibilities between the Member States;

11. Stresses the need to introduce support programmes to rehabilitate and reintegrate degraded soils that are unfit for farming into the forest or agricultural cycle;

12. Stresses the need to promote the production and use of sustainably sourced goods by encouraging zero-deforestation supply chains and prohibiting products that do not comply with EU standards or that contribute to deforestation from entering the EU market; stresses that, in order to achieve sustainably sourced goods, there is a need to introduce mandatory due diligence and legally binding sustainability criteria for forest-risk commodities, improve traceability and transparency in the supply chain and guard against phenomena that take advantage of inadequate tracing; notes, furthermore, the need to respect the commitments undertaken in the UNFCC New York Declaration on Forests; stresses, moreover, the advantage to be gained by introducing a EU certification system to enable imports to be suspended immediately if areas of deforestation are detected by satellite imagery; notes the possibility of introducing a labelling and certification system for deforestation-free products imported into the EU and incorporating the deforestation-free aspect into EU trade deals and other multilateral agreements; notes that voluntary and other types of labelling schemes for wood and other products exist in some countries; is, however, of the opinion that a ubiquitous system would help both increase awareness and give a quantitative view of the trends globally;

13. Requests that the Commission regularly present a report covering the trends of deforestation and exploitation of high carbon stock areas, such as peatlands, in third countries;

14. Stresses the need to continue to promote the sustainable bioeconomy, the needed substitution of fossil-based materials and the consumption of sustainably sourced goods by introducing a labelling and certification system for deforestation-free products imported into the EU and incorporating the deforestation-free aspect into EU trade deals and other multilateral agreements;

15. Stresses the importance of establishing an inclusive partnership with third countries to strengthen sustainable land management and agriculture alongside good governance, particularly when it comes to land and forest tenure, as these are governmental responsibilities in combating deforestation that external stakeholders can only partly address; recalls that a partnership approach supporting better governance must respect the rights of indigenous peoples, smallholders and local communities, and enable multi-stakeholder processes in producer countries; stresses the importance of establishing sustainable, transparent agricultural value chains by means of trade agreements that do not allow access to the EU of agricultural products that do not comply with the Union’s standards and values in terms of forest protection; underlines the need to include safeguard clauses in future trade agreements that allow the EU to suspend imports of related products from regions or countries where deforestation is observed; believes, furthermore, that such agreements should include binding and enforceable provisions to protect forests and guard against human rights violations, particularly regarding community tenure;

16. Takes into account global support behind protecting the world’s forest ecosystems, including wildlife and their habitats, when calling for urgent action to protect forests worldwide and ensuring sustainable global supply chains;

17. Calls for all products that drive deforestation globally to be prohibited from entering the EU internal market;

18. Encourages the implementation of support measures intended to increase agricultural productivity in targeted countries in order to reduce the social and economic pressure linked to deforestation and the exploitation of peatlands;

19. Stresses that palm oil is an important driver of deforestation on an alarming scale for commercial agriculture in countries of Southeast Asia, while soya cultivation for animal nutrition contributes to deforestation in South America;

20. Underlines the need for further significant progress to be made when it comes to developing and implementing an EU protein plant strategy and ensuring robust protein plant production within the EU in order to limit the danger of deforestation linked to these crops in other regions of the world and to reduce the dependence on imports and to reduce the pressure on forests due to land use change; stresses that such progress should be made, inter alia, through the wider adoption of crop rotation accompanied by support and guidance for farmers in areas suitable for cultivation of protein plants and that such action would reduce the dependence on imports, deforestation, degradation and pressure on forests due to land-use change; calls, therefore, for the introduction of sustainability criteria for plant protein imports;

21. Encourages the Commission to ensure that a multi-stakeholder platform that fully encompasses all relevant stakeholders be integrated into a legal framework;

22. Highlights the importance of further developing and improving existing systems such as the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan, voluntary partnership agreements with civil society participation, the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme and current legislation such as the Timber Regulation[28], as well as the importance of promoting current voluntary systems; stresses that such systems are important in order to reduce the administrative burden on Member States, facilitate the transfer of knowledge, and increase awareness and sense of responsibility among partner countries outside the EU, and, in particular, to address the legality of timber through the robust and timely enforcement of regulations both in the EU and elsewhere;

23. Takes the view that the drivers of deforestation should be addressed in an EU policy framework, thereby ensuring the coherence of forest-related policies and reducing the pressure on forests; takes the view that such a policy framework would encourage ever more innovative, sustainable and efficient farming within and outside the EU, and would reduce food losses throughout the food chain through new technologies; points out that targets outlined in the framework can be met by giving farmers easy access to funding so that they can acquire cutting-edge high-precision farming technologies; considers that the high demand for food should be addressed through technical assistance, cooperation among agricultural organisations and knowledge transfer;

24. Emphasises that the reshaping of forestry must lead to the use of integrated forest management practices worldwide, as only in this way the potential offered by multifunctional forestry can be exploited to the full; notes that integrated forest management is based on the sustainable production of timber as a natural raw material and the exploitation of the sustainable potential of all forms of timber;

25. Emphasises the importance of sustainable forest management, including training, within the EU and in third countries, as an essential factor in ensuring the income of forest owners, people who live or work in forests and farmers practicing agroforestry, enhancing biodiversity and carbon sequestration within forests and improving their resilience; highlights in this regard the importance of supporting forest owners and, in particular, of taking into account the conditions for small-forest owners;

26. Highlights the role of agroforestry systems, including extensive wood pastures, in biodiversity conservation, mitigation and adaptation to climate change as a practice with high carbon sequestration potential; highlights that in dry periods this potentially represents an important source of feed for animals and for the diversification of production, including for the purposes of bioeconomy; stresses that field studies show that agroforestry uses land more efficiently than monocropping practices and, therefore, has the potential to decrease pressure on other ecosystems, including forests; calls for a change of the rules in order to facilitate the regeneration and restoration of existing agroforestry systems, and calls for the establishment of new ones;

27. Emphasises that reducing consumption pressure is central to the protection of forests; emphasises, in that connection, that the cascading use of timber as a raw material should be encouraged; points out that timber only provides ecological services in long-lived products, such as furniture or buildings;

28. Stresses that trade agreements with countries outside the EU should contain provisions on sustainable forest management and responsible entrepreneurship, as well as commitments on the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement;

29. Is highly concerned about reports of illegal logging, and other associated criminal activity directed at foresters and forest rangers, in third countries and in the EU; calls on the Commission and the Member States to continue to act decisively to prevent and fight illegal logging, especially in Europe’s last old-growth forests, and to enforce relevant existing EU legislation and thus applying proportionate, dissuasive and effective sanctions in cases of breaches of EU law;

30. Underlines the need to raise public awareness of the social and economic impacts of illegal logging and forest-related crimes;

31. Stresses that the European Environment Agency’s report entitled ‘The European Environment – State and Outlook 2020’ found that only one third of the forest habitats listed under the Habitats Directive[29] are in favourable conservation status, and that there has been little improvement in the conservation status of forest habitats and species since 2013, despite the implementation of the EU Forest Strategy; highlights that sufficient resources are needed to manage these sites and ensure enforcement of the Habitats Directive.

 


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

26.5.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

13

4

Members present for the final vote

Mazaly Aguilar, Clara Aguilera, Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Álvaro Amaro, Eric Andrieu, Attila Ara-Kovács, Carmen Avram, Adrian-Dragoş Benea, Mara Bizzotto, Daniel Buda, Isabel Carvalhais, Asger Christensen, Angelo Ciocca, Ivan David, Paolo De Castro, Jérémy Decerle, Salvatore De Meo, Herbert Dorfmann, Luke Ming Flanagan, Dino Giarrusso, Francisco Guerreiro, Martin Häusling, Martin Hlaváček, Krzysztof Jurgiel, Jarosław Kalinowski, Elsi Katainen, Gilles Lebreton, Norbert Lins, Marlene Mortler, Ulrike Müller, Juozas Olekas, Pina Picierno, Maxette Pirbakas, Bronis Ropė, Bert-Jan Ruissen, Anne Sander, Petri Sarvamaa, Simone Schmiedtbauer, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Veronika Vrecionová, Sarah Wiener, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

Substitutes present for the final vote

Manuel Bompard, Anja Hazekamp, Pär Holmgren, Peter Jahr, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Christine Schneider, Sylwia Spurek, Marc Tarabella, Hilde Vautmans

 


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

31

+

ECR

Mazaly Aguilar, Krzysztof Jurgiel, Veronika Vrecionová

ID

Gilles Lebreton, Maxette Pirbakas,

GUE/NGL

Manuel Bompard, Luke Ming Flanagan, Anja Hazekamp

NI

Dino Giarrusso

RENEW

Atidzhe Alieva‑Veli, Asger Christensen, Jérémy Decerle, Martin Hlavacek, Elsi Katainen, Ulrike Müller, Hilde Vautmans

S&D

Clara Aguilera, Eric Andrieu, Attila Ara‑Kovács, Carmen Avram, Adrian‑Dragoş Benea, Isabel Carvalhais, Paolo De Castro, Juozas Olekas, Pina Picierno, Marc Tarabella

VERTS/ALE

Francisco Guerreiro, Martin Häusling, Pär Holmgren, Bronis Ropė, Sarah Wiener

 

13

-

ID

Ivan David

PPE

Álvaro Amaro, Daniel Buda, Salvatore De Meo, Herbert Dorfmann, Jaroslaw Kalinowski, Norbert Lins, Marlene Mortler, Petri Sarvamaa, Simone Schmiedtbauer, Christine Schneider, Annie Schrijer-Pierik, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

 

4

0

ECR

Bert‑Jan Ruissen

ID

Mara Bizzotto, Angelo Ciocca

PPE

Anne Sander

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 


 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, RESEARCH AND ENERGY (3.6.2020)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on the EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2156(INI))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion: <Depute>Mauri Pekkarinen</Depute>

 

PA_NonLeg


 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas a sustainable and effective forest policy requires reliable information on forest resources, their condition, and how they are managed and used, and also reliable information on land-use change;

B. whereas forests and the forest-based value chain are fundamental to the further development of the circular bio-economy by providing jobs and economic welfare in rural and urban areas, delivering climate change mitigation and offering health-related benefits;

1. Recalls that the EU and its Member States are expected to take urgent action to protect and restore forests in order to meet their commitments under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, the Global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, and the UN Strategic Plan for Forests and its Global Forest Goals;

2. Is deeply concerned because, in spite of the efforts by the EU and its Member States, the EU’s commitment to halting deforestation by 2020 as part of the SDGs is unlikely to be met; strongly supports the Commission, therefore, in its proposal to step up action in protecting and restoring the world’s forests;

3. Stresses that global deforestation and forest degradation are serious problems, and therefore welcomes the Commission’s communication of 23 July 2019 entitled ‘Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests’ (COM(2019)0352);

4. Takes note of the priorities for action set out in the communication, and expresses its commitment to engage actively in developing further the actions described in order to make them effective and complementary, and calls for their subsequent reinforcement and proper implementation; emphasises the need for a holistic approach; stresses the need for actions to be based on the three pillars of sustainability, namely environmental, economic and social sustainability;

5. Emphasises that sustainable forest management can prevent deforestation and has a positive impact on the health and diversity of forests; provides CO2 sequestration and carbon storage in resilient, growing forests; provides carbon storage in harvested wood products; and also provides a renewable and climate-friendly raw material, which could replace energy-intensive materials and fossil fuels;

6. Stresses the importance of facilitating an inclusive partnership approach at all levels with third countries in order to strengthen sustainable land management and agriculture, as well as land tenure and good governance, the wood-based and deforestation-free circular economy, and to further develop the strong relationship between them in combating deforestation, while respecting the rights of indigenous peoples, smallholders and local communities;

7. Notes the importance of ensuring that deforestation is included in country-level political dialogues and of helping partner countries to develop and implement national frameworks for forestry and sustainable forestry, taking into account the different types of forest management in Member States; emphasises that these national frameworks have to reflect domestic needs, as well as global commitments; stresses the need for the implementation of incentive mechanisms for smallholder farmers to maintain and improve the ecosystem and products provided by sustainable forestry and agriculture;

8. Highlights the fact that Horizon 2020 has already financed significant research and innovation in the transition towards more sustainable land-use practices and supply chains in order to halt deforestation and forest degradation; calls for increased funding to enable Horizon Europe to continue providing support in these areas;

9. Stresses the need to foster the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR)[30] in order to prevent the entry of illegally sourced wood into the European single market;

10. Highlights the need to leverage private investments to address the drivers of deforestation and to realise the SDGs and the Paris Agreement; to this end, highlights the importance of a competitive regulatory environment and the need to fully involve stakeholders at all stages of the policy process;

11. Stresses the need for further evaluation of additional WTO-compliant regulatory and non-regulatory measures on the demand side to ensure a common understanding of deforestation-free supply chains; emphasises the need to increase supply chain transparency and minimise the risk of deforestation in general and deforestation associated with commodity imports into the EU; calls on the Commission to initiate a dialogue with other consuming countries about deforestation-free supply chains, finance and investment;

12. Calls on the Commission to support and stimulate industry-driven innovation and initiatives to enhance sustainability in value chains;

13. Calls for the Union to support, in close cooperation with Member States, the monitoring of deforestation and forest degradation by using Earth observation data from different sources and by developing more detailed land imaging satellites in order to monitor deforestation accurately and in real time; notes that the information provided would be a valuable tool in the fight against deforestation globally;

14. Calls on the Commission to increase the transparency of supply chains, minimise the risk of deforestation for industry and consumers, all contributing to ensuring deforestation-free supply chains;

15. Stresses the need to strengthen standards and certification systems that already exist today instead of incorporating new standards and certificates into the rules, and that, furthermore, the standards and certification systems must comply with WTO rules;

16. Calls for awareness raising among consumers and EU industries about the need to reduce our consumption footprint on land and encourages people to consume products from – and for the EU bio-economy to set up – supply chains that are ‘deforestation-free’;

17. Reiterates its request to the Commission to present, without delay, a proposal for a European legal framework based on due diligence in order to guarantee sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains for all products placed on the EU market in line with international standards and obligations; insists that such legislation be accompanied by a robust enforcement mechanism and that it include effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties for non-compliance.

 


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

28.5.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

54

1

23

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Nicola Beer, François-Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Michael Bloss, Manuel Bompard, Paolo Borchia, Marc Botenga, Markus Buchheit, Klaus Buchner, Martin Buschmann, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Carlo Calenda, Andrea Caroppo, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Ignazio Corrao, Josianne Cutajar, Nicola Danti, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Martina Dlabajová, Christian Ehler, Valter Flego, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Claudia Gamon, Jens Geier, Nicolás González Casares, Bart Groothuis, Christophe Grudler, András Gyürk, Henrike Hahn, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Ivars Ijabs, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Seán Kelly, Izabela-Helena Kloc, Łukasz Kohut, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Andrius Kubilius, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Thierry Mariani, Marisa Matias, Eva Maydell, Georg Mayer, Joëlle Mélin, Iskra Mihaylova, Dan Nica, Angelika Niebler, Ville Niinistö, Aldo Patriciello, Mauri Pekkarinen, Mikuláš Peksa, Tsvetelina Penkova, Morten Petersen, Markus Pieper, Clara Ponsatí Obiols, Sira Rego, Jérôme Rivière, Robert Roos, Sara Skyttedal, Maria Spyraki, Jessica Stegrud, Beata Szydło, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Patrizia Toia, Evžen Tošenovský, Marie Toussaint, Isabella Tovaglieri, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss, Carlos Zorrinho

Substitutes present for the final vote

Jutta Paulus, Edina Tóth

 


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

54

+

GUE/NGL

Manuel Bompard, Marc Botenga, Marisa Matias, Sira Rego

NI

Martin Buschmann, Clara Ponsatí Obiols

PPE

François-Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Pilar Del Castillo Vera, Christian Ehler, András Gyürk, Seán Kelly, Andrius Kubilius, Eva Maydell, Angelika Niebler, Aldo Patriciello, Markus Pieper, Sara Skyttedal, Maria Spyraki, Edina Tóth, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss

Renew

Nicola Beer, Nicola Danti, Martina Dlabajová, Valter Flego, Claudia Gamon, Bart Groothuis, Christophe Grudler, Ivars Ijabs, Iskra Mihaylova, Mauri Pekkarinen, Morten Petersen

S&D

Carlo Calenda, Josianne Cutajar, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Jens Geier, Nicolás González Casares, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Łukasz Kohut, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Dan Nica, Tsvetelina Penkova, Patrizia Toia, Carlos Zorrinho

 

1

-

ECR

Robert Roos

 

23

0

ECR

Izabela-Helena Kloc, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Jessica Stegrud, Beata Szydło, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Evžen Tošenovský

ID

Paolo Borchia, Markus Buchheit, Andrea Caroppo, Thierry Mariani, Georg Mayer, Joëlle Mélin, Jérôme Rivière, Isabella Tovaglieri

NI

Ignazio Corrao

Verts/ALE

François Alfonsi, Michael Bloss, Klaus Buchner, Henrike Hahn, Ville Niinistö, Jutta Paulus, Mikuláš Peksa, Marie Toussaint

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

7.7.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

66

2

9

Members present for the final vote

Nikos Androulakis, Bartosz Arłukowicz, Margrete Auken, Simona Baldassarre, Marek Paweł Balt, Traian Băsescu, Aurelia Beigneux, Monika Beňová, Sergio Berlato, Malin Björk, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Pascal Canfin, Sara Cerdas, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Miriam Dalli, Esther de Lange, Christian Doleschal, Bas Eickhout, Eleonora Evi, Agnès Evren, Fredrick Federley, Pietro Fiocchi, Andreas Glück, Catherine Griset, Jytte Guteland, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Anja Hazekamp, Martin Hojsík, Pär Holmgren, Jan Huitema, Yannick Jadot, Adam Jarubas, Petros Kokkalis, Ewa Kopacz, Joanna Kopcińska, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Peter Liese, Sylvia Limmer, Javi López, César Luena, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Joëlle Mélin, Tilly Metz, Silvia Modig, Dolors Montserrat, Alessandra Moretti, Dan-Ștefan Motreanu, Ville Niinistö, Grace O’Sullivan, Jutta Paulus, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Sándor Rónai, Rob Rooken, Silvia Sardone, Günther Sidl, Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Edina Tóth, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Petar Vitanov, Alexandr Vondra, Mick Wallace, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik, Tiemo Wölken, Anna Zalewska

Substitutes present for the final vote

Catherine Chabaud, Norbert Lins, Vincenzo Sofo, Maria Spyraki, Inese Vaidere, Lucia Vuolo

 


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

66

+

GUE/NGL

Malin BJÖRK, Anja HAZEKAMP, Petros KOKKALIS, Silvia MODIG, Mick WALLACE

NI

Eleonora EVI

PPE

Bartosz ARŁUKOWICZ, Traian BĂSESCU, Nathalie COLIN-OESTERLÉ, Christian DOLESCHAL, Agnès EVREN, Adam JARUBAS, Ewa KOPACZ, Esther de LANGE, Peter LIESE, Norbert LINS, Fulvio MARTUSCIELLO, Liudas MAŽYLIS, Dolors MONTSERRAT, Dan-Ștefan MOTREANU, Stanislav POLČÁK, Maria SPYRAKI, Edina TÓTH, Inese VAIDERE, Pernille WEISS, Michal WIEZIK

RENEW

Pascal CANFIN, Catherine CHABAUD, Martin HOJSÍK, Jan HUITEMA, Frédérique RIES, María Soraya RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS, Nicolae ŞTEFĂNUȚĂ, Linea SØGAARD-LIDELL, Véronique TRILLET-LENOIR

S&D

Nikos ANDROULAKIS, Marek Paweł BALT, Monika BEŇOVÁ, Simona BONAFÈ, Delara BURKHARDT, Sara CERDAS, Tudor CIUHODARU, Miriam DALLI, Jytte GUTELAND, Javi LÓPEZ, César LUENA, Alessandra MORETTI, Sándor RÓNAI, Günther SIDL, Petar VITANOV, Tiemo WÖLKEN

ID

Simona BALDASSARRE, Aurelia BEIGNEUX, Catherine GRISET, Joëlle MÉLIN, Silvia SARDONE, Vincenzo SOFO, Lucia VUOLO

VERTS/ALE

Margrete AUKEN, Bas EICKHOUT, Pär HOLMGREN, Yannick JADOT, Tilly METZ, Ville NIINISTÖ, Grace O'SULLIVAN, Jutta PAULUS

 

2

-

ID

Teuvo HAKKARAINEN, Sylvia LIMMER

 

9

0

ECR

Sergio BERLATO, Pietro FIOCCHI, Joanna KOPCIŃSKA, Ryszard Antoni LEGUTKO, Rob ROOKEN, Alexandr VONDRA, Anna ZALEWSKA

RENEW

Fredrick FEDERLEY, Andreas GLÜCK

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 

[1] Judgment of the Court of Justice of 17 April 2018, European Commission v Republic of Poland, C-441/17, EU:C:2018:255.

[2] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0005.

[3] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0015.

[4] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2019)0078.

[5] OJ C 433, 23.12.2019, p. 50.

[6] OJ C 298, 23.8.2018, p. 2.

[7] Target 15.2: By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.

[8] Target 5: By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.

[10] Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, OJ L 328, 21.12.2018, p. 82.

[11] Donato, D. et al., ‘Mangroves among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics’, Nature Geoscience, April 2011.

[12] Directive 2014/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 amending Directive 2013/34/EU as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups, OJ L 330, 15.11.2014, p. 1.

[13] Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2020 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, OJ L 198, 22.6.2020, p. 13.

[14] Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/807 of 13 March 2019 supplementing Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the determination of high indirect land-use change-risk feedstock for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high carbon stock is observed and the certification of low indirect land-use change-risk biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels, OJ L 133, 21.5.2019, p. 1.

[15] Doyle, A. & Roche, A., ‘Nineteen nations say they’ll use more bioenergy to slow climate change’, Reuters, 16 November 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-accord-biofuels/nineteen-nations-say-theyll-use-more-bioenergy-to-slow-climate-change-idUSKBN1DG2DO 

[17] Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market, OJ L 295, 12.11.2010, p. 23.

[18] Council Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005 of 20 December 2005 on the establishment of a FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Community, OJ L 347, 30.12.2005, p. 1.

[19] Regulation (EU) 2016/1036 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on protection against dumped imports from countries not members of the European Union, OJ L 176, 30.6.2016, p. 21.

[20] DING, Helen et al. Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs. The Economic Case For Securing Indigenous Land Rights in the Amazon. World Resources Institute, October 2016. p. 98. Available at: https://wriorg.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/Climate_Benefits_Tenure_Costs.pdf .

[21] Viz FERN. EU forests in danger. Forest protection starts in our backyard [online]. FERN. February 2019. Available at: https://www.fern.org/fileadmin/uploads/fern/Documents/EU_forests_in_danger_Feb_2019.pdf .

[22] According to this report, about 1 million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction. IPBES. Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. [online]

IPBES, 2019. Available at: https://ipbes.net/global-assessment

[23] Viz, e.g., FAO. Women in Forestry: Challenges and Opportunities [online]. 2014. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3924e.pdf, or GEF. Climate change calls for a greater role of women in forest management  [online]. GEF. Press release. 1 March 2011. Available at: https://www.thegef.org/news/climate-change-calls-greater-role-women-forest-management .

[24] CONNIFF, Richard. Greenwashed Timber: How Sustainable Forest Certification Has Failed [online]. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, February 2018. Available at: https://e360.yale.edu/features/greenwashed-timber-how-sustainable-forest-certification-has-failed

[25] Directive 2014/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 amending Directive 2013/34/EU as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups (OJ L 330, 15.11.2014, p. 1).

[26] Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (OJ L 328, 21.12.2018, p. 82).

[27] http://www.fao.org/food-loss-and-food-waste/en/

[28] OJ L 295 12.11.2010, p. 2.

[29] OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.

[30] Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market, OJ L 295, 12.11.2010, p. 23.

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