Today, Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, is signing the roadmap for the implementation of the EU-Congo Forest Partnership in Brazzaville. The roadmap has been developed by Team Europe – the EU and its Member States – and the Republic of Congo, to put the Forest Partnership in practice. It outlines measures to safeguard Congolese forests and support the development of sustainable value chains coherent with the requirements of the new EU Deforestation Regulation and in particular in its key aspects: geolocation requirement, inclusion of smallholders, agroforestry developments and development of high standards traceability schemes.
The signature of the roadmap takes place in the margins of the Summit of the Three Basins of Biodiversity Ecosystems and Tropical Forests, which brings together government representatives, financing organisations and experts to discuss cooperation for the preservation of some of the world’s most important natural ecosystems: the basins of the Amazon, Congo, and Borneo-Mekong-Southeast Asia.
The regions of the Three Basins account for two thirds of the planet’s biodiversity. As such, their environmental protection is essential for the successful implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. These tropical forests also serve an important purpose as carbon sinks, which makes them an important asset in the fight against climate change.
Commissioner Sinkevičius said:
“Tropical forests are our lungs, the life-support system of the world. They should be protected and sustainably used to safeguard biodiversity, tackle climate change, and guarantee the livelihood of people who directly depend on forest products. Today’s roadmap will result in a strengthened dialogue between our countries in addressing deforestation and forest degradation in Congo and working towards a sustainable forest economy.”
At COP26, the EU announced Forest Partnerships to address global challenges, including climate mitigation and biodiversity, while meeting local needs. The EU and the Republic of Congo signed their Memorandum of Understanding on a Forest Partnership at COP27. The Forest Partnerships ensure sustainable forest management, generate job creation through sustainable forest-related value chains, reduce deforestation and forest degradation, and facilitate trade in legal and sustainable forest products. Today’s roadmap will further strengthen cooperation and contribute to the implementation of the EU Deforestation Regulation.
The EU Deforestation Regulation, which entered into force in June 2023, is about fostering sustainable value chains and creating opportunities for sustainable agricultural and forestry supply chains across the globe. It will introduce due diligence obligations for companies that place commodities and products associated with deforestation on the EU market, or export from it.
- Publication date
- 27 October 2023
- Directorate-General for Environment