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Conservation International Statement on the European Commission Communication on Protecting Forests and Promoting Reforestation

July 23, 2019

“We congratulate the European Commission for taking this important step to address the footprint of EU consumption on forests,” said Lust. “Now we need to invest our euros to make this communication real. This legislation represents the kind of bold global leadership that Europe excels in, but it is moot without investment.”

“If we want to meet the goals of the Paris agreement, then the European Commission needs to look at funding actions that preserve forests and counter deforestation, including funding reforestation efforts and investing in community conservation projects. In addition, they must invest in funds for indigenous people — stewards who manage 25 percent of the world’s above-ground carbon in tropical forests and who are essential to protecting these vital ecosystems.

“With the next five-year term of the European Commission and European Parliament beginning, this critical first step opens the door for a tremendous opportunity to put deforestation at the heart of EU political and budgetary priorities, demonstrating that the EU is fully committed to leading global transformation on this issue.”

If deforestation were a country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter of climate warming greenhouse gases. The science shows that tropical forests alone account for at least 30 percent of the global mitigation action needed to halt climate change.

Conservation International and partners have been working for a decade with European governments, including the government of France, to craft strategies to combat imported deforestation and accompanying concrete measures to save forests.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Fanny Gauttier, Manager, EU Policy and Sustainable Production, Conservation International at or +32470338873.

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “My Africa”, “Under the Canopy” and “Valen’s Reef.” Follow Conservation International’s work on our Human Nature blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.