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Eliminating deforestation from supply chains by 2020: a review of the Amsterdam Declaration countries

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The image above, originally from Rainforest Action Network, is used here under an Attribution license.

Consumers in Europe have a significant and hidden impact on tropical forests. Europe is an important consumer market for agricultural commodities associated with deforestation – such as beef, soy, palm oil and timber. The European Union’s (EU) own study into the impact of its consumption estimated that its overseas deforestation footprint from importing and consuming crops and livestock products was 9 million hectares (ha) from 1990-2008.

In the decade since this study, deforestation risk has risen rapidly up the political agenda. A significant number of companies have made voluntary commitments to remove deforestation from their supply chains by 2020. In 2014 the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) pledged to halve deforestation by 2020 with a goal to support the private sector to eliminate deforestation from agricultural supply chains. The Declaration was endorsed by more than 50 companies and 41 governments, including the EU.

Against this backdrop, in December 2015 five European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom), later joined by Italy and Norway, signed the Amsterdam Declaration on Deforestation with the goal of supporting private and public sector action on removing deforestation from supply chains. The Declaration encourages action by the private sector to adopt and implement deforestation commitments, policy action by the EU, and public-private partnerships to deliver on 2020 goals and remove deforestation from supply chains.

The Amsterdam Declarations Partnership (which includes the Declaration on Deforestation and the Declaration on Sustainable Palm Oil) is led by the signatory governments and aims to support existing processes, such as the European Sustainable Palm Oil and Cocoa and Forests initiatives, as well as convening national commodity roundtables. To date the implementation strategy has focused on cocoa, palm oil and soy.

As 2020 approaches, this briefing assesses the progress of signatory countries against the goals of the Amsterdam Declaration on Deforestation, focusing on the adoption and delivery of company commitments and the exposure to deforestation risks in imports, and identifies priorities for future action.

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AmsterdamDeclarationBriefing.pdf 768.86 KB