The European Commission has set out a new framework of actions to protect and restore the world’s forests, which host 80% of biodiversity on land, support the livelihoods of around a quarter of the world’s population, and are vital to our efforts to fight climate change.
The comprehensive Communication published last week introduces measures for enhanced international cooperation with stakeholders and Member States, promotes sustainable finance, better use of land and resources, sustainable job creation and supply chain management, and targeted research and data collection.
It also launches an assessment of possible new regulatory measures to minimise the impact of EU consumption on deforestation and forest degradation.
First Vice-President Timmermans said: “Forests are the green lungs of our planet, and we must care for them in the same way we care for our own lungs. We will not meet our climate targets without protecting the world’s forests… Today we send an important signal to our citizens and to our partners around the world that the EU is prepared to play a leadership role in this area in the next five years, and beyond.”
The ambitious European approach is a response to the continued widespread destruction of the world’s forests – an area of 1.3 million square kilometres was lost between 1990 and 2016, equivalent to approximately 800 football fields every hour. The main drivers of this deforestation are demand for food, feed, biofuel, timber and other commodities.
Source – European Commission