CSO Joint Statement for EU to Adopt a Strong Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products

EU Ministers, Commissioner and Members of The European Parliament: The world is counting on you to adopt a strong EU regulation on deforestation-free products

18 October 2022 -  We, the undersigned organisations, call on you to ensure the swift adoption of a strong and ambitious EU regulation on deforestation-free products. As "trilogue negotiations" on this law begin, we ask you to support a law that lives up to the promises of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals and upholds the EU’s commitments on climate, biodiversity and human rights.

This new law offers a historic opportunity to minimise the EU’s impact on forests and other valuable ecosystems within its own borders and around the world, as well as on the countless Indigenous and local communities living in and protecting forest areas. Your choices will influence the fate of 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and shape the natural world that future generations inherit.

In 2020, over 1.2 million citizens called for a strong law. In 2022, over 100 civil society organisations from around the world called for a strong law and over 206,000 citizens called on their MEPs to deliver a strong law. Recent polls in Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands confirm substantial public support for a strong new law. EU citizens do not want products driving forest and ecosystem destruction or human rights abuses in their shopping baskets. The overwhelming support for this law shows that it deserves prioritisation and swift adoption. The increasing impacts of climate change and severity of droughts, fires, storms and floods affecting Europe and countries around the world shows that there is no time to lose.

Forest converting for oil palm plantation, while the logs were exported. Photo: Mighty Earth

Your deliberations will consider options of varying ambition. For this law to be effective, we urge you to agree a final text that includes the following best options on the table:

  1. A comprehensive list of commodities including, cattle, cocoa, coffee, soy, oil palm and wood, rubber, maize, sheep, goat and pig meat, poultry and the most derived products possible.
  2. Clear, robust and credible definitions set at EU level, including for deforestation and forest degradation, that effectively protect forests in and outside the EU.
  3. Immediate protection of other wooded land and a time-bound commitment to extend protection to other natural ecosystems (like savannahs, peatlands, wetlands) within one year.
  4. Protections for internationally-recognised human rights, particularly the rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and environmental and human rights defenders, and the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
  5. Robust due diligence obligations for operators and large traders that require full traceability, based on geolocation, to all plots of land for all products without exceptions. Compliance should be confirmed in due diligence statements and the actions taken to comply should be detailed in periodic public reports.
  6. A limited role for third-party certification as complementary information that does not absolve operators or traders of their due diligence obligations, as proposed by the Commission.
  7. Equivalent due diligence obligations for EU-based financial institutions.
  8. A strong and comprehensive enforcement framework that includes mandatory minimum compliance checks as proposed by the Parliament, dissuasive and uniform penalties, and strong substantiated concern and access to justice mechanisms.
  9. A cut off date no later than 31 December 2019 as proposed by the Parliament.
  10. Measures to support vulnerable stakeholders in producing countries, in particular to empower Indigenous Peoples, local communities, women, smallholders and civil society

We are all counting on you to deliver a strong, ambitious and effective law. We will be following your deliberations closely and stand ready to support you in this vital effort. Signed by 140+ civil society, smallholders’ and Indigenous Peoples’ organisations from 39 countries.

Hilman Afif (Auriga Nusantara): hilman@auriga.or.id
Together4Forest: info@together4forests.com


  1. A ROCHA - Associação Cristã de Estudo e Defesa do Ambiente
  2. Advocates for Public Interest Law
  3. Amazon Watch
  4. Appui pour la Protection de l'Environnement et le Développement (APED)
  5. ARA (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Regenwald und Artenschutz)
  6. Auriga Nusantara
  7. Australian Forests and Climate Alliance (AFCA)
  8. Avaaz
  9. Bank Information Center
  10. BankTrack
  11. Biodiversity Conservation Center
  12. Blue Dalian
  13. Boreal Action
  14. BOS+
  15. Bosque Joven
  16. Both ENDS
  17. Brainforest
  18. Brighter Green
  19. Cabinet Essono Ondo pour le Social et l'Environnement (CEO-SE)
  20. Canopée
  21. Canopy
  22. ClientEarth Climate Action Network Europe
  23. CNCD-11.11.11
  24. Colectivo VientoSur Comité Schone Lucht
  25. Commission Justice & Paix
  26. Compassion in World Farming
  27. Conservation International Europe
  29. Corporate Europe Observatory
  30. Deutsche Umwelthilfe e. V.
  31. Deutscher Naturschutzring (DNR)
  32. DIB
  33. DKA Austria
  34. Docip
  35. DOF BirdLife Danmark
  36. Donau Soja Association
  37. Earthbilt
  38. Ecologistas en Acción
  39. Ecosia Ekumenická akademie
  40. Environment East Gippsland inc
  41. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
  42. Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria
  43. Envol Vert
  44. Eurogroup for Animals
  45. European Vegetarian Union
  46. Fairwatch
  47. Federación de Consumidores y Usuarios CECU
  48. Feedback EU
  49. Feedback Global
  50. Focus Association for Sustainable Development
  51. Forest Peoples Programme
  52. Forests of the World
  53. Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER)
  54. Fórum Nacional de Proteção e Defesa Animal
  55. Forum Ökologie & Papier
  56. Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  57. Friends of the Earth Europe
  58. Gemeinwohlstiftung COMÚN / Initiative Lieferkettengesetz Österreich
  59. GEOTA-Grupo de Estudos de Ordenamento do Território e Ambiente
  60. Germanwatch e.V.
  61. GLOBAL 2000
  62. Global Forest Coalition
  63. Global Nature Fund
  64. Global Witness
  65. Global Youth Biodiversity Network Europe (GYBN Europe)
  66. Green Development Advocates
  67. Green Impact
  68. Greenpeace European Unit
  69. HUTAN Group
  70. IDEF
  71. Inades-Formation Côte d'Ivoire
  72. Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM)
  73. Instituto Jane Goodall España
  74. Instituto Sociedade, População e Natureza
  75. Jane Goodall Institute Austria
  76. Jane Goodall Institute Belgium
  77. Jane Goodall Institute France
  78. Japan Tropical Forest Action Network
  79. Landelijk Netwerk Bossen- en Bomenbescherming
  80. Leefmilieu
  81. Lipu - BirdLife Italy
  82. Mai bine
  83. Mighty Earth
  84. Milieudefensie - Friends of the Earth Netherlands
  85. Milieufront Omer Wattez vzw
  86. Mobilisation for the Environment
  87. Mouvement Ecologique asbl.
  88. NABU (Naturschutzbund Deutschland) e.V.
  89. Nature Nova Scotia
  90. Naturefriends Greece
  91. Natuurpunt
  92. Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) Asia
  93. Nyt Europa
  94. Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière OGF
  95. Observatório do Clima (Brazilian Climate Observatory)
  96. Oil Palm Smallholders Union/ Serikat Petani Kelapa Sawit (SPKS)
  97. OroVerde
  98. Polski Klub Ekologiczny
  100. Profundo
  101. Quercus - Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza
  102. Rainforest Action Network
  103. Rainforest Foundation Norway
  104. Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific
  105. Reseau des Organisations de la Société Civile pour le Développement du Tonkpi (ROSCIDET)
  106. Rikolto België vzw
  107. ROBIN WOOD e. V.
  109. SEO/BirdLife
  110. Society for threatened peoples Switzerland
  111. Socio-ecological union International
  112. Solsoc
  113. Solutions for Our Climate
  114. Stand.earth
  115. Stowarzyszenie Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot
  116. Südwind
  117. SumOfUs
  118. Sustainable Development Institute (SDI)
  119. Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
  120. Synaparcam
  121. The Wilderness Society
  122. Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group
  123. Umanotera, The Slovenian Foundation for Sustainable Development
  124. Veblen Institute
  125. Vision Building Future Pakistan
  126. Voedselteams vzw
  127. Vogelbescherming Nederland
  128. WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia)
  129. Welthaus Diözese Graz-Seckau
  130. WeMove Europe
  131. Wetlands International European Association
  132. Working group Food Justice
  133. World Animal Protection
  134. World Animal Protection Netherlands
  135. WWF European Policy Office (EPO)
  136. Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat
  137. ZERO - Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável
  138. PowerShift e.V.