Greenpeace and over 140 other environmental, social justice, Indigenous rights and human rights organisations have written to the European Commission, European environment and agriculture ministers and Members of the European Parliament involved in negotiations on a new EU law to protect forests.

The letter calls on the decision-makers negotiating the new EU law to ensure that the law includes:

  1. A comprehensive list of commodities including, cattle, cocoa, coffee, soy, oil palm and
    wood, rubber, maize, sheep, goat and pig meat, poultry and the most derived products
  2. Clear, robust and credible definitions set at EU level, including for “deforestation” and “forest
    degradation”, that effectively protect forests in and outside the EU.
  3. Immediate protection of “other wooded land” and a time-bound commitment to extend
    protection to other natural ecosystems (like savannahs, peatlands, wetlands) within one year.
  4. Protections for internationally-recognised human rights, particularly the rights of Indigenous
    Peoples, local communities, and environmental and human rights defenders, and the right to
    Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
  5. Robust due diligence obligations for operators and large traders that require full traceability,
    based on geolocation, to all plots of land for all products without exceptions. Compliance
    should be confirmed in due diligence statements and the actions taken to comply should be
    detailed in periodic public reports.
  6. A limited role for third-party certification as “complementary information” that does
    not absolve operators or traders of their due diligence obligations, as proposed by the
  7. Equivalent due diligence obligations for EU-based financial institutions.
  8. A strong and comprehensive enforcement framework that includes mandatory minimum
    compliance checks as proposed by the Parliament, dissuasive and uniform penalties, and
    strong substantiated concern and access to justice mechanisms.
  9. A cut off date no later than 31 December 2019 as proposed by the Parliament.
  10. Measures to support vulnerable stakeholders in producing countries, in particular to
    empower Indigenous Peoples, local communities, women, smallholders and civil society.