EU action is needed to safeguard the world’s forests. We fully support the aim to tackle global deforestation and forest degradation caused by EU consumption. Halting deforestation is important for biodiversity, for people’s livelihoods and for the climate.
On 17 November 2021, the European Commission proposed a regulation on deforestation-free products. The aim of the initiative is to ensure that only deforestation-free products are allowed on the EU market. For the Swedish forest industry, ensuring biodiverse, healthy and resilient forests is a central goal and a strategic interest.
SFIF makes the following main recommendations in relation to the proposal:
- Support trade in sustainable products. The Regulation needs to be carefully designed not to create trade friction or hamper trade in sustainable wood products.
- Use globally recognized definitions to facilitate enforcement and ensure consistency between various EU and international policy frameworks.
- Forest degradation is a serious problem, but the concept is complex and context dependent. It should therefore not be defined by a narrow definition of “sustainable harvesting operations”, which does not consider other critical aspects, such as local needs and ensuring forest regeneration.
- Ensure that due diligence supports already well-functioning systems and that information requirements are practically implementable. Collecting the geographic coordinates of all plots of land where the relevant commodities and products were produced could be very challenging to implement and administer.