Recommendations for a forest positive impact
In April 2022, IDH and Proforest have published a set of recommendations building on the draft EU regulation on deforestation-free products adopted by the European Commission in November 2021. Like many who work in our industry, we welcome the legislation and the effort made by the European Commission to halt global deforestation. We think this is an opportunity to stop the importation of deforestation-risk commodities and ensure we all play a part in halting and reversing deforestation across production landscapes everywhere.
However, there is a risk that the current text of the legislation has unintended consequences that we want to avoid. It could encourage cleaning specific European agri-commodity supply chains, while diverting deforestation-risk commodities to other parts of the world. And while the regulation could provide a clean supply of product to the EU market it may not stop deforestation because most deforestation happens outside of current supply chains. The regulation in its current draft form also lacks incentive mechanisms for jurisdictions and companies that are working to reduce the drivers of deforestation through landscape partnerships. If their risk exposure is too high, companies may choose to move to low-risk areas or countries. This would deprive jurisdictions from the much-needed support provided by these companies.
IDH and Proforest have put forward a proposal with two key steps that would encourage forest positive strategies in critical areas for deforestation, building on the leverage that European supply chains have.
Classify those jurisdictions that have time-bound, credible plans to get zero-deforestation as ‘transitional risk’ and for European governments and consumer goods companies to offer support to achieve their goals.
We suggest that the information collection requirements should be varied depending on the level of risk of the country or jurisdiction.
You can read more in “EU regulation on deforestation-free products: Recommendations for a forest positive impact”.
Since the publication of this paper in April 2022, IDH and Proforest have refined their thinking on step two of the recommendations. The approach to benchmarking jurisdictions and the possible incentive mechanisms to support efforts at jurisdictional level are featured in this slide deck.
Contact IDH or Proforest for additional information on these recommendations.