Call for a more ambitious EU regulation on deforestation-free products including other wooded lands

novembro, 08 2022

For WWF, natural and primary other wooded lands, like Cerrado´s savannahs, must be under protection

Members of the European Parliament voted for the inclusion of “other wooded lands” in the scope of the proposal of the European Commission for a regulation on deforestation-free products. Despite this significant improvement, ongoing discussions could lead to only keeping forests under the protection of the law.
Natural and primary other wooded lands correspond to stable, spontaneous and primary savannah, shrubland and woodland vegetation, with lower cover and/or height than forest, and exclude plantation forest and systems for agricultural and forestry use.
Natural and primary other wooded lands, like Cerrado´s savannahs must be under protection, as they have very significant ecological and social importance and are highly threatened by the expansion of large-scale agricultural commodities.
Soy has the highest contribution in tropical deforestation/conversion linked to Europe-27 imports. The new law would thus have a limited impact on reducing ecosystem destruction if natural and primary other wooded lands are not included in its definition of deforestation.
In this document, we take the case of the Cerrado savannahs and argue that it is feasible to include natural and primary other wooded lands, as proposed by European Parliament, it would be easier for law implementation, and it would reduce the costs of compliance verification.
We ask to the Members of the European Council, Commission, and Parliament, to add natural and primary OWL in the scope of the definition of deforestation, following the FAO definition of other wooded land, with the exception of FAO defined areas of agricultural and forestry uses. This follows the amendment 88 proposed by European Parliament that defines deforestation as the conversion of forests or other wooded lands to agricultural use or to plantation forest, but only considering natural and primary other wooded lands.
Covering more than a quarter of Brazil’s land area, the Cerrado is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, and millions of people, including diverse indigenous communities.
© WWF-Brasil/Bento Viana