In Mid-December 2021 the European Commission is due to release a regulatory proposal to minimise the European Union’s (EU) deforestation and forest degradation footprint. In advance of this draft proposal, six NGOs have come together to outline how the EU can ensure that the Regulation does not harm communities and smallholders (key actors in the production of forest and ecosystem risk commodities (FERCs)).
The Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most biodiverse areas of flora and fauna in the world. However, the area in and around the park is also under pressure due to conflict, armed rebels, illegal activities and population growth. IUCN NL partner organization IDPE identified that a beekeeping cooperative and professional support have the potential to reduce deforestation and to support livelihoods of communities around the park.
As the climate crisis intensifies, violence against defenders of the earth is escalating. A Global Witness report released today reveals that 227 land and environmental activists were murdered in 2020 for defending their land and the planet. That constitutes the highest number ever recorded for a second consecutive year.
Header photo: © Andrew Ball / Panos / Global Witness
In 2018, the Indonesian government issued a Palm Oil Moratorium. The moratorium is ending September this year. Sawit Watch, IUCN NL partner in Indonesia and the lead CSO in Indonesia concerning palm oil issues, in collaboration with other Indonesian CSOs is calling upon the Indonesian government to extend the current moratorium. This call is substantiated by an assessment of the strategic opportunities gained from policy extension and the consequences of policy termination. According to the CSOs, extending the current moratorium provides both environmental benefits as well as socio-economic opportunities.
Over 100 organizations have sent a letter to Malaysian timber giant Samling asking the timber giant to withdraw its legal suit against GLA Malaysia partner SAVE Rivers and its board members. Samling was also asked to provide the communities of its Gerenai and Ravenscourt concessions in Sarawak’s Baram and Limbang region with all of the environmental and social impact assessments conducted for certification by the PEFC-endorsed Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme.
The Green Livelihoods Alliance (GLA) in the Philippines denounces the resumption of mine operations in Brooke’s Point, Palawan, and the Office of the Ombudsman’s suspension order on Brooke’s Point Mayor Maryjean Feliciano for her actions protecting the forested watershed from destructive mining. The GLA calls on government agencies to instead listen to the community voices who have long stood against the destructive mining in forested watersheds of Palawan.
Community-based Non-Timber Forest Product Enterprises (CBNEs) will take the spotlight for the inaugural Forest Harvest CBNE Forum taking place this 1-5 June to highlight their untapped potential in contributing to community well-being and forest conservation.
Much of the deforestation that takes place in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America is the result of the European consumption of commodities, such as soy, cocoa and palm oil. Stricter EU-level regulations could go a long way to put an end to deforestation. Such regulations are a contentious political issue, but at the end of 2020, after years of concerted lobbying by TBI and partners, there was a breakthrough.
As soon as communities in DR Congo received formal forest rights, they established new rules for forest management. The result: fewer trees are being cut, and the communities are earning more money.