A look back at the participatory workshops organised by the Forest Preservation Alliance, based on the WRI's 2023 deforestation figures.


A conference on "Combating imported deforestation: public and private players faced with the new European regulation for zero deforestation products" was held last week at the headquarters of the Ile de France Region. The ATIBT was represented by Caroline Duhesme.


Politicians, industrialists, experts and scientists were all present for the occasion. Guillaume Reveilhac, President of the Alliance pour la Préservation des Forêts, called for collective action and support for the European Commission in implementing the regulation, stressing that even if the regulation is not perfect, it can be improved and will enable progress to be made.

Alain Karsenty Claude Garcia,, the IUCN and other speakers representing the private sector highlighted the points in the EUDR that need to be improved, and the avenues for doing so.


Watch the conference on video


The conference also coincided with the publication by Global Forest Watch - World Research Institute of figures for deforestation worldwide in 2023. As Claude Garcia pointed out at the conference, the signs are red, with an increase in deforestation around the world. However, there has been a sharp fall in deforestation in Brazil and Colombia as a result of political decisions, underlining the role of governments in the fight against deforestation.


Consult the 2023 deforestation figures 


After a morning of discussions, the afternoon was organised around 3 workshops, whose discussions are relayed here.


Workshop 1: The challenges EUDR

Led by Laure Grégoire - Alliance pour la Préservation des Forêts and Lucile da Costa, an Audencia student.


The discussions highlighted 5 major challenges:

  • Relations with producer countries: the feared negative effects of the classification of countries at risk, the need for communication, the need to take account of the specific contexts of each country, etc.
  • Information sharing: between companies and the EU, and between producer countries and companies.
  • Traceability: the territorial certification solution could provide a more favourable response to the need for traceability.
  • Controls: in addition to company controls, there will be state controls. There is a need for harmonisation and consultation.
  • Financing: one solution would be to introduce differentiated taxation.


Workshop 2: Solutions for implementing the EUDR

Moderated by Elise Rebut, Conservation International and Isaline Masson, Audencia student.


During this second workshop, various solutions, both known and innovative, were identified, making it possible to transform certain constraints into opportunities. The need for collaborative approaches clearly emerged.


4 themes in particular were addressed:

  • Solutions for gaining a better understanding of the context in production countries
  • Risk assessment solutions
  • Solutions for traceability
  • Solutions for working more effectively with suppliers and producers


The discussions highlighted a number of existing tools and suggested ways of improving them.


Workshop 3 - Anticipating abuses of the European regulation to combat deforestation

Led by Prof. Claude Garcia, researcher at ETH Zurich and Matteo Courpotin, Audencia student.


During the workshop, participants were asked to imagine several scenarios, explaining why they would happen, what the consequences would be, and what could be done to avoid the situation.

  • Scenario 1: Postponement or alteration of regulations.
  • Scenario 2: Europe is isolated
  • Scenario 3: Creation of a 2-scale economy
  • Scenario 4: Partial or total exclusion of small producers


At the end of this foresight work, the participants concluded that dialogue and accompanying measures appear to be the necessary solutions to avoid these drifts. However, poorly conducted dialogue can turn into a tug of war or be held hostage to considerations that have nothing to do with the problems of deforestation, loss of biodiversity or poverty. It is also important to bear in mind that regulation is intended to evolve to better achieve its objective.


Read the full report of the workshops