A big step for trees

Deforestation trade due diligence

What is historic to some, has resulted in disappointment to others. Nevertheless, the recently agreed “Deforestation Regulation” is unique. This regulation will prohibit the import and export of goods linked to deforestation to and out of the EU. However, we do see some room for improvements. Call us perfectionists.

What we loved No matter what, the fact is that the EU will be the first to officially tackle deforestation outside of its own borders through this regulation. It will become impossible for irresponsible companies to continue to profit from harm to our planet, and ensures that companies take steps to ensure environmental due diligence.

All companies, from large businesses to small and micro enterprises, fall under the scope. Even though the regulation will be implemented in different phases (18 months after adoption for Large and Medium companies, and 24 months for small up to micro), It is remarkable, but necessary that no exception are included.

While for now European legislatives only included the most harmful sectors (palm oil, coffee, cacao, rubber, soy, beef and timber), after two years they will review to incorporate more sectors. What can be better

Modern technologies, such as GPS trackers and satellite imagery are available to analyse the state of our green longs, and makes the regulation enforceable.

Even if the European markets is direct or indirect responsible of the degradation and destruction of “merely” 10% of the total loss - a little more than the size of whole Western-Europe, the regulation will unquestionably have larger spill-over effects to other parts in the world.

Room for improvement The regulation does not address the degradation already present in existing forests. Furthermore, why should we limit our nature to our forests? What about swamps and savannahs, drylands and rivers?

The final text - not published formally at the time of writing - is believed to lack of ambition when it comes to the protection of the rights of the indigenous people, or as Greenpeace stated “the flimsy protection for the rights of Indigenous People who pay with their blood to defend the nature”. Why would we only protect our nature and not its defenders? Why would we only protect the pneumology department in a hospital, but leave the doctors to their fates? This needs to be addressed as well. Maybe in a next phase or in separate legislation.

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