A series of multi-industry remote round tables is being held to discuss European Commission (EC) action to curb import of commodities implicated in deforestation. Timber companies are among those invited to take part to share their experience and insights, including on the operation and impacts of the EU Timber Regulation in their industry and how similar regulation might operate in other import sectors.
The initiative has been launched by the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) and is being facilitated by natural resources sustainability consultancy EFECA.
The roundtables form part of the TFA’s Collective Action Agenda, which encourages industry stakeholders to engage in ‘action and collaboration needed to achieve the goal of zero-deforestation associated with commodity supply chains’. The round tables were originally intended to be held face to face around Europe, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic will now be online. They are running through April to June, with the next being held on April 30. Outcomes will include discussion papers, which will be shared with the TFA and the EC.
EFECA says the objective is to ‘develop a collective input from the private sector’ and other TFA partners across Europe on the objectives laid out in the European Commissions’ July 2019 ‘Communication on Stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests’. Each Roundtable will explore ways of achieving one of the five Communication priorities. These are to:
- Reduce the EU consumption footprint on land and encourage consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains in the EU
- Work in partnership with producing countries to reduce pressures on forests and to ‘deforestation–proof’ EU development cooperation
- Strengthen international cooperation to halt deforestation and forest degradation and encourage forest restoration
- Redirect finance to support more sustainable land-use practices
- Support the availability and quality of and access to information on forests and commodity supply chains and support research and innovation.
“We will also be exploring how to integrate and use lessons from the EUTR throughout this process” said EFECA Senior Consultant Rose McCulloch. “The EC are about to begin their Fitness Check of the EUTR, which includes a review of the options for forest risk commodities and stakeholder consultation. The aim is that the roundtables will run in parallel to that work and the EC’s official multi-stakeholder consultation, feeding in and supporting where appropriate.”
For details of round table dates, times and how to participate contact firstname.lastname@example.org.