The increase in consumption and demand for food worldwide encourages the expansion and intensification of agriculture, which often leads to an increase in deforestation and conversion of natural environments. WWF’s Living Planet Report 2022 warns that the increasing destruction of nature is having catastrophic impacts not only on wildlife populations, but also on human health, livelihoods and food security.

There is a clear relationship between the consumption of European countries -especially of soy and beef- and several of the main Deforestation Fronts identified worldwide, including the Cerrado and the Amazon in Brazil and the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay. Several reports show how the consumption of agricultural products in the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) are contributing to the destruction of forests and other natural ecosystems, including grasslands and wetlands, and negatively impacting local communities.

For this reason, the European Union recently approved a new Law that seeks to guarantee that products imported into the region have not been produced on deforested land. This new regulation is the first in the world to address global deforestation and will significantly reduce the EU’s footprint on nature. In addition, it will establish strict mandatory due diligence rules for companies that want to place relevant products on the EU market or export them. After this first agreement, the European Parliament and the Council will have to formally adopt the new Regulation and, once it enters into force, operators and merchants will have 18 months to implement the new rules. Micro and small businesses will enjoy a longer adaptation period, as well as other specific provisions.

“The new regulation is a milestone in the commitment to guarantee the end of global deforestation. This new law encourages us to change the current policies and mechanisms to achieve a traceability system that allows us to stop deforestation and forest degradation due to productive activities. The time to do so is now and the path is clear: redefine production models and have reliable monitoring systems that contribute effectively to the conservation of forests and natural ecosystems and reduce the negative socio-environmental impacts of agricultural activity in our country. ”, affirmed Manuel Jaramillo, general director of Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina.

Palm oil, cattle, soybeans, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber, as well as derived products (such as beef, furniture or chocolate) have been chosen on the basis of a comprehensive impact assessment that identifies them as the main drivers of deforestation due to agricultural expansion.

One of the highlights of this law is that the new regulations will go beyond legality: to enter the EU market, products must not only be legal according to the standards of the producing country, but also deforestation-free. and forest degradation. In particular, this law will also provide European consumers with the certainty that products have been traced back to where they were produced, avoiding potential loopholes early in the supply chain.

But that’s not all: the Commission will run a benchmarking system that will assess countries or parts of them and their level of risk of deforestation and forest degradation (high, standard or low risk) and also taking into account agricultural expansion for the production of the seven basic products and derivatives. The list of commodities that are covered will be regularly reviewed and updated, taking into account new data, such as changes in deforestation patterns.

The new European regulation aims not only to reduce the impacts of its citizens’ consumption, particularly greenhouse gas emissions and the loss of biodiversity, but also seeks to ensure the livelihoods of millions of people, including indigenous peoples and local communities around the world, which are highly dependent on natural ecosystems.

For inquiries on this topic, contact:
Mariana Lombardi (Wildlife): | +54 9 11 4406 3212



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