Stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests

The European Commission (EC) adopted a framework of actions to protect and restore the world’s forests as part of efforts to conserve biodiversity, tackle climate change and support local livelihoods. The Communication introduces measures to promote better use of land resources, sustainable job creation and supply chain management, and sustainable finance. The EC Communication is a response to the “continued widespread destruction of the world’s forests.” Between 1990 and 2016, the world lost 1.3 million square kilometers of forest, an amount equivalent to 800 football fields every hour. Demand for food, feed, timber, biofuel and other commodities drive this deforestation. Further, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked to deforestation are the second biggest cause of climate change. Within this context, the EC recognizes forest protection as a “significant part of responsibility” to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change.