• Client: EC - DG Environment
  • Implementation period: 2020 - 2021 (Ongoing)
  • Geographic coverage: European Union

Does the EU policy on forest products and deforestation have it’s effect?

Global forests continue to be threatened by deforestation and forest degradation, despite the integral role they play in supporting a healthy and prosperous planet. This trend must be reversed but it has become evident that the current international, regional and national policies have not sufficiently delivered the necessary global shift to ensure sustainable use, conservation of primary forests or where appropriate, afforestation and restoration.

Following up on its commitment to reduce deforestation via the consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains in the EU, the European Commission has contracted a study focused on analysing EU policy for forest products and deforestation.

The project is both retrospective and forward-looking. First, it will evaluate current EU legislation tackling illegal logging: the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), a demand-side measure, and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation, which focuses on the supply side. Following this, the study will then identify and analyse various options for future demand-side measures ultimately aimed at minimising the risk of deforestation and forest degradation associated with timber (products) placed on the EU market. The project will be conducted by Trinomics in collaboration with Wood (lead), Ricardo, Wageningen University and Research, the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), and Tyrsky consulting. The project will run from June 2020 to March 2021.

This investigation provided the following preliminary results:

  • To undertake a fitness check evaluation of the EUTR and the FLEGT Regulations;
  • To conduct an impact assessment which will inform options for additional demand-side measures and further action to increase supply chain transparency and minimise the risk of deforestation and forest degradation associated with products placed on the EU market.