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13 Sep 2022


EU: Parliament votes to improve European Commission anti-deforestation proposal incl. on indigenous rights but fails to agree on compensation mechanism

"European Parliament ground-breaking vote on deforestation law a ‘big victory’ - ClientEarth lawyers", 13 Sep 2022

Members of the European Parliament have voted on crucial improvements to the draft EU law on deforestation-free products in a huge step forward for ending global nature destruction...

The Parliament decided to include an essential requirement to respect international human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples – frontline defenders against deforestation, as well as due diligence obligations for EU financiers investing in forest-risk sectors.

MEPs also supported proposals to strengthen the provisions on supply chain due diligence and access to justice, which are fundamental components of an effective and enforceable law...

The Parliament’s improvements make it possible for Indigenous Peoples and local communities on the deforestation frontline to bring evidence of non-compliance before European authorities and raise complaints about non-compliance before European courts.

But in a disappointing move, MEPs stopped short of including a new remediation fund to provide forest communities with support to carry out their own remediation measures...

ClientEarth lawyers say MEPs have fallen short [...] by rejecting a proposal to extend protections to natural ecosystems other than forests, such as savannahs, wetlands and peatlands: ecosystems that are under equal pressure from agricultural expansion. Instead, they have opted to defer the issue to a review 12 months after the law's commencement.

A delegation of MEPs will now take the Parliament's position to negotiations with the EU Member States, who agreed a range of changes in the EU Council in June to significantly weaken key elements of the proposed law, making an ambitious position from the European Parliament even more important.