News

ATIBT get involved in monitoring the National Strategy against Imported Deforestation (NSID)

07.12.2018

In accordance with the commitment made in the Climate Plan adopted in July 2017, France adopted on November 14, 2018, its National Strategy against Imported Deforestation (NSID), intended to put an end to deforestation by 2030 import of unsustainable forest or agricultural products such as soybean, palm oil, beef and co-products, cocoa, rubber, but also timber and timber products. France wishes through this national strategy to change all actors, from producers to consumers, including investors.

The main measures of this strategy cover both the supply and the demand of these products and engage all the actors, such as:

  • development aid and drawing up of roadmaps with exporting countries or regions,
  • the creation of a national platform against deforestation bringing together companies, NGOs and public authorities,
  • a communication campaign accompanied by a new label « zero deforestation »,
  • a reflection for a law on the duty of vigilance of companies,
  • the organization of General States of Food,
  • measures to eliminate biofuels from raw materials with a strong indirect impact on deforestation,
  • or a « zero deforestation » public purchasing policy by 2022.

The details of these measures are available here.

These measures will also be disseminated by France at the European and international levels, notably by the European Union, as of 2019, with an action plan to fight against imported deforestation providing for the development of European regulations on the import of raw materials posing a risk for the forests. Indeed, the European Commission is preparing a Communication on « Intensifying EU action against deforestation and forest degradation », which should be adopted in the second quarter of 2019, and will be based on the study feasibility of options for intensifying EU action against deforestation (published in March 2018, and available here).

The draft of this strategy which was published in public consultation on the site of the Ministry of ecological and solidarity transition (http://www.consultations-publiques.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/consultation-du-public-sur-le-projet-de-strategie-a1849.html)  mentioned: « While illegal logging remains one of the causes of forest degradation, there is a European regulatory framework for forest products, including the timber regulation. (EUTR), as well as the FLEGT  Action Plan, which is developing bilateral voluntary partnership agreements with producer third countries. In this context, the NSID will not focus primarily on wood products, but will take into account the ongoing changes in the FLEGT plan review process and the implementation of the EUTR for which France will require substantial improvements.  »

Initially the fact the the wood was not targeted made sense. In fact, the diversity of tropical species means that deforestation is only carried out when the land occupied by the forest is intended for conversion to agricultural or livestock land. This phenomenon has been highlighted in the reports of FAO 2002 and AFD 2017.

Some organizations have decided to integrate wood into this strategy in order to reinforce the responsible actions highlighted by eco-certifications. The ATIBT has reservations about the relevance of integrating wood into the NSID, and will be more involved in the implementation of this strategy, because the tropical timber material is now listed among the products responsible for deforestation. which is likely to frighten consumers, while its trade makes it possible to finance responsible forest management that is struggling with deforestation. There are other mechanisms to regulate the timber trade, such as FLEGT (Voluntary Partnership Agreement with producing countries, and the EU Timber Regulation banning the import of illegal timber), but also development management plans and forest certification.

In order to ensure that these measures do not harm the tropical forest-wood sector, the ATIBT will be strongly involved in future developments, notably by integrating the national platform to be created under the French strategy and participating in the public consultation to be launched by the EU in the coming weeks.