EU action to protect the world’s forests – Council adopts conclusions

On 16 December, the Council today adopted conclusions which provide political guidance on protecting and restoring the world’s forests. Member states welcome the Commission’s communication on stepping up EU action in this area.

The Council and the member states are deeply concerned that current policies and action at the global level on the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of forests are insufficient to halt deforestation. They agree that enhanced EU action is needed, and encourage the Commission to urgently prioritise and implement the actions set out in its communication, together with the member states, industry, organisations and institutions, civil society and partner countries as part of the European Green Deal.

In order to reduce the EU's consumption footprint on land, the Council and the member states request that the Commission fast-track an assessment of new demand-side regulatory and non-regulatory measures and produces proposals to this end. These measures include the raising of consumers awareness, commitments from industry and cooperation with producing countries.   

The Council and its member states are committed to strengthening international cooperation and working with partner countries to promote action against deforestation and forest degradation, especially from agricultural production in line with the three pillars of sustainable development. A partnership approach is recommended for cooperation with producing countries.

They also recommend proposing, for all new relevant comprehensive EU trade agreements, specific provisions on sustainable forest management and sustainable and deforestation-free agricultural commodities.

View the Council conclusions.

Information from the German delegation, supported by the French and Luxembourg delegations

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