EU impacts on deforestation
Study on the impacts of EU sectorial policies on tropical deforestation and forest degradation (2015-2016)
Client: Joint Research Centre
Tropical forests contain a high share of the world's terrestrial biodiversity, provide carbon storage and help to regulate the climate as well as water cycles. The EU supports the global targets of halting and reversing global forest cover loss by 2030 at the latest and of reducing gross tropical deforestation by at least 50% compared to 2008 levels by 2020. Yet, research has shown that the EU is responsible for the deforestation of about 9 million hectares of land per year, through the import of products associated with deforestation.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) supports the implementation of the EU Forestry Strategy, the EU Forest Action Plan and the EU initiative on forest protection as well as other policy initiatives to protect forests around the world. In particular, JRC delivers policy-relevant information on the status and trends of forests, derived from remote sensing as well as advanced modelling. This study supports JRC’s work, including the ROADLESS-FOR project on links between roads and forest degradation, with input on policy dimensions related to deforestation. The study assesses the impact of the EU’s sectorial policies on tropical deforestation and forest degradation, including policies on transportation and related infrastructure, agriculture and mining.
The study was articulated via three tasks:
- Collection and assessment of existing literature
- Description and review of methodologies used in the literature
- Elaboration of 4-5 case studies in tropical regions that describe decision chains that link to EU policies, as well as impact patterns
Milieu Ltd led the study and all three tasks. FRM Ingénierie, VITO and independent experts supported the work with their technical advice.