In the summer of 2016 the European Parliament decided to write a report on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests. Numerous discussions and amendments followed. Thursday 13 March 2017 the European Parliament Environmental (ENVI) Committee voted on the report and the final amendments, providing a more balanced and fact based understanding.
In the report several aspects are discussed related to palm oil and deforestation of rainforests. The Committee puts deforestation of rainforests in a wider prespective and notes that palm oil exploitation is not the sole cause of deforestation. The report highlights the commitment of the private sector to end deforestation by 2020 (New York Declaration) and draws attention to the importance of human and social rights as well as ‘International Labour Organization’ (ILO) conventions. The Committee notes the efforts and progress made by the food manufacturing industry to source certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) and calls on all other industry sectors using palm oil to increase their efforts to source CSPO. EU Member States are called upon to ratify the Amsterdam Declaration for 100% sustainable palm oil in 2020 and to introduce measures favoring sustainable palm oil in national public procurement procedures. The cooperation with producing countries as well as the need for more coherence in policy development is emphasized.
It is clear that this topic will remain important for the years to come. Together with our (European) partner organizations, EPOA will follow the debate closely and where possible provide input.