EU action on deforestation
The EU has a strong track record of global leadership in dealing with deforestation and forest degradation. The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan (FLEGT) to fight illegal logging and associated trade has been in place since 2003. In 2019, the EU set out a new plan to protect and restore the world’s forests. The EU Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World's Forests outlines priorities for protecting and restoring forests – particularly primary forests – and for significantly increasing biodiverse forest cover around the world. Most recently, the European Green Deal provides a basis for further action, committing to regulatory measures to support deforestation-free value chains.
This ambitious European approach is a response to the continued widespread destruction of the world's forests. The main drivers of this deforestation – primarily in tropical regions – are demand for food, feed, biofuel, timber and other commodities. The EU imports and consumes more than a third of internationally traded crops and livestock products associated with deforestation in the countries of origin.