The European Union agreed to pass a new anti-deforestation law on Tuesday, 6 December 2022. Through a three-party dialogue, the EU Parliament, Council and Committees have one voice to ban products originating from deforestation activities from entering their markets.
“the EU is sending a strong signal to the rest of the world that it is determined to address global deforestation that contributes massively to the climate crisis and the loss of our natural environment,” said Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
Sinkevičius added that for this initiative to run successfully, it is necessary to build efficient and close cooperation between producing and consuming countries to ensure a smooth process. “To succeed, we will build efficient and close cooperation with consumer and producer countries to ensure a smooth process.”
From the press release, the regulation will oblige entrepreneurs or companies to carry out strict due diligence if they want to market their commodities on the European Union market. Regulated commodities are palm oil, cattle, soybeans, coffee, cocoa, timber, and rubber, and their derivative products.
Companies are also required to collect precise geographic data on these commodities. The evaluation for those commodities will regularly apply to ensure no deforestation pattern is occurring.
Then, the EU Commission will apply benchmarks to assess the risk level of producer countries. A company’s liability will depend on the risk level of the producer country.
Internationally, the EU will increase its engagement with producing countries to ensure they comply with the new rules effectively, and the EU will train producing countries where necessary.
The EU Parliament and Council will formally pass the rules in the next step. Once this rule has the force of law, operators and traders will have an opportunity for 18 months to apply this rule. The policy will give more extended time and specific assistance for Medium and Small companies.
Deforestation and forest degradation are the leading causes of climate change and loss of biodiversity. FAO calculates 420 million hectares of forest lost due to deforestation between 1990 and 2020. The area of forest loss was more significant than the territory of the European Union.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that 23% of total gas emissions during 2007-2016 came from agriculture, forestry and other broad uses. About 11% of all emissions come from forestry and other land use, mainly from deforestation. The remaining 12% comes from direct emissions from agricultural products such as animal husbandry and fertilizers.
Mardi Minangsari, President of Kaoem Telapak, said that the European Union’s decision was good and that people should appreciate it. “This is a positive trend that we should appreciate. Because this is the first anti-deforestation regulation in the world, there is a serious commitment from the consumer and market side to improve. Domestically, Indonesia must also continue regulatory strengthening and improvement. Especially in the main affected sectors such as timber and palm oil,” she said.