The European Commission set out a new framework of actions to protect and restore the world's forests, which addresses both the supply and demand side of forest products. It introduces measures for enhanced international cooperation with stakeholders and Member States, promotion of sustainable finance, better use of land and resources, sustainable job creation and supply chain management, and targeted research and data collection. It also launches an assessment of possible new regulatory measures to minimise the impact of EU consumption on deforestation and forest degradation.
Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
Palm oil producers and environmental activists alike have expressed dismay at a move by European officials to phase out palm-oil based biofuel by 2030. Officials in Indonesia and Malaysia - who together produce 85% of palm oil globally - say the move is discriminatory and have vowed a vigorous response, including lobbying EU member states, bringing the matter before the World Trade Organisation, and imposing retaliatory measures on EU goods.
Environmental activists, on the other hand, say the policy does not go far enough leaving loopholes allowing palm oil to be treated as a renewable fuel, allowing continued expansion of palm plantations into peat forests. They also criticize the policy’s failure to label soybean oil as high risk, with growing evidence that soy cultivation may have greater deforestation risks than palm oil.
EU member approved the proposal to restrict the phthalates DEHP, DBP, DIBP and BBP in articles. The four phthalates are on the REACH candidate list of SVHCs for their reprotoxic as well as endocrine disrupting properties. Under the proposal they would be restricted to a concentration equal to or below 0.1% by weight individually or in any combination in any plasticised material in articles used by consumers or those used in indoor areas. The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers now have three months to scrutinise the measure and the restriction will then be published in the EU’s Official Journal and will apply 18 months after the entry into force to products produced both in and outside of the EU.
The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) News have provided an update on the operation of the EU’s law to address illegal logging from March 2015 to March 2016. This issue outlines the support from the European Commission and the implementation of the regulations by its’ member states, indicating how they insure its’ proper application. Relevant publications and updates in international laws against illegal logging are also reported.
Central African Republic and Liberia become the fifth and sixth countries to sign Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU. Under the EU Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), VPAs commit partner countries to establish systems and a licencing scheme to ensure only verified legal timber products (including pulp and paper) are exported from that country from 3rd March 2013 (globally; not just to EU member states). VPAs with Ghana and Cameroon are close to being signed and VPAs with four more countries are currently being negotiated.