EU bill aims to dial up forest-protection pressure


African palm has become a major driver of land-use change in Latin America along with soybean farming and cattle ranching. (Photo by Michael McDonald)

Legislation proposed in the European Parliament could ban the import of products linked to deforestation, a requirement that—if the bill is approved—could have broad implications for Latin America, where forest cover has been declining for decades. The “Proposal for regulation on deforestation-free products” was presented to the European Parliament in November. It seeks to ensure that the production of such goods as beef, palm oil, soy, wood, cocoa, and coffee—some of Latin America’s top exports—does not involve deforestation and forest degradation. The bill calls for a benchmarking system that would categorize nations as being at low, medium or high risk for deforestation and require increased scrutiny of high-risk countries. Certification and labeling might also be required under the bill, which was proposed by Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for the Environment, and taken up by the Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety... [Log in to read more]

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