Forest protection likely to be new priority for EU Parliament

(EurActiv, 13 Sep 2019) Large areas of forest are being cleared worldwide for the agricultural industry. Although the EU requires its contracting partners to protect the environment, it lacks the means for enforcement. Environmentalists and the European Parliament see an urgent need for action. EURACTIV Germany reports.

The protection of forests should become one of the priorities of the European Parliament in the coming months.

Contacted by EURACTIV, conservative MEP Peter Liese (EPP) confirmed that the Environment Committee (ENVI) is planning a hearing on the issue. The European Commission will also launch a legislative proposal.

“Our forests, not only in other parts of the world but also in Europe, are an essential contributor to climate protection. And on top of that, they are an economic factor,” Liese said.

The German MEP hopes that the plenary will already debate the deforestation issue in September’s session.

The background of this initiative is not only due to the increasing number of dying forests in the EU but also because of worrying forest fires in Brazil. Slash-and-burn practices of large forest areas are a consequence of the booming Brazilian agricultural industry.

The production of soya and beef requires a lot of free space, the demand for which is likely to increase with the EU-Mercosur trade deal coming into force.

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EurActiv, 13 Sep 2019: Forest protection likely to be new priority for EU Parliament