The FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2020 estimated that 420 million ha of forest was deforested between 1990 and 2020, with the highest net losses in South America and Africa, while Europe and parts of Asia experienced net gains. Furthermore, the newly agreed text for the proposal for a Regulation on deforestation and forest degradation notes that between 1990 and 2008, the Union consumption was responsible for 10% of worldwide deforestation associated with the production of goods or services.
In that regard, the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR) welcomes the European Union’s effort to take action to minimize global deforestation and forest degradation driven by its own consumption. At the same time, EUSTAFOR believes that, unfortunately, the proposal misses the unique chance to foster scaling up the good land management practices of European countries to a global level.
Notably, EUSTAFOR regrets that very little effort was brought by the proposal to promote the European concept of sustainable and multifunctional forestry as a viable solution to maintain and expand forests around the world while serving the needs of our planet and providing multiple services to society at large.
EUSTAFOR then raises and further develops 5 key points:
- Does this new regulation properly calibrate the level of ambition and the possibilities for a follow-up on world level?
- Geolocation may still be a challenging task
- Risk assessment is missing precision which may lead to misinterpretations
- New obligation to perform checks may miss its purpose while increasing unnecessary administrative burden
- Remote sensing should not fully replace checks of the ground due to its limitations in accuracy