The EU’s new Deforestation Regulation is a Game-Changer

Forest bathing is a kind of therapy called for in some cultures like Japan. It can help you communicate better with people. All the more reason to protect this vast natural resource with policy and deforestation regulation.

The European Union (EU) has long been a global leader in environmental protection, and its latest move – the EU Deforestation Regulation – is a testament to its commitment to safeguarding our planet’s future. This regulation is a significant step forward in the fight against deforestation, with far-reaching implications for businesses, the environment, and the global community. The EUDR is a comprehensive legislative measure aimed at curbing the availability and export of commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation within the EU market. These include cattle, soy, palm oil, coffee, timber (wood), rubber, and cocoa. The law was enacted by the European Parliament and the Council on 31 May 2023, and has entered into force as of June 29, 2023.

The regulation acknowledges the environmental, economic, and social benefits of forests, recognizing their role in maintaining ecosystem functions, protecting the climate system, and providing livelihoods for approximately one-third of the world’s population. It also highlights the severe consequences of deforestation and forest degradation, including the reduction of essential carbon sinks and the increased risk of new diseases and pandemics.

An infographic by satellite data analytics company LiveEO, which offers deforestation detection, breaks down the complex legislation.

EU deforestation regulation infographic

Why is the bill important?

Deforestation and forest degradation are occurring at an alarming rate, contributing significantly to global warming and biodiversity loss. The EU’s consumption is a significant driver of these environmental issues on a global scale. The regulation aims to combat this by reducing the impact of the Union’s consumption on deforestation, promoting sustainable trade, implementing ambitious environment and climate policies, and working in partnership with producer countries.

The regulation is a crucial part of the measures needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and comply with the Union’s commitments under the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement. It also seeks to combat biodiversity loss and comply with the Union’s commitments under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Who Needs to Comply – and How?

The regulation applies to companies operating within the EU that deal with commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation (see infographic), which need to ensure that their supply chains are deforestation-free. This involves conducting due diligence to identify and address deforestation risks in their supply chains, sourcing commodities and products from sustainable and certified sources, and implementing traceability systems to track the origin of commodities and products.

Businesses are also required to adopt sustainable practices in their operations. This could include implementing sustainable agricultural practices, reducing waste, and minimizing their carbon footprint. They will need to report on their efforts to combat deforestation, as well as disclose information about their supply chains. Publishing annual sustainability reports, participating in third-party audits, and disclosing information to regulatory authorities will be part of this effort.

In addition, companies are encouraged to work in partnership with other stakeholders, including local communities, non-governmental organizations, and governments, to address deforestation. This could involve participating in multi-stakeholder initiatives, supporting local conservation efforts, and contributing to sustainable development projects.

The EU Deforestation Regulation is a significant step towards a more sustainable future. It not only addresses a critical environmental issue but also sets a precedent for other regions to follow. As companies adapt to comply with this regulation, they will play a crucial role in protecting our planet’s forests and, ultimately, our future.




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