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Trade and finance

Fern’s aim is to achieve an EU trade policy which protects forests, respects forest peoples’ rights and supports EU and partner countries’ climate objectives.













Fern’s analysis: The EU’s often offensive trade and investment agenda can contribute to forest loss in partner countries. Increasing demand for forest risk commodities, combined with low import tariffs and inadequate environmental and social safeguards, can drive deforestation and undermine community rights. The EU is currently negotiating Free Trade Agreements with a number of forested countries with high levels of biodiversity: Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. To ensure EU trade and investment policies respect human rights and help meet forest protection goals, they need to include sufficient safeguards and be negotiated in an open, transparent and inclusive manner.

What Fern is doing: Fern is working with NGOs, policy makers and scientists to achieve an EU trade policy that protects forests, respects forest peoples’ rights and supports global climate objectives.

To learn more about this campaign read our blog article “Trading in incoherence?”, and our reports Duty Free? Making EU tariffs Work for People and Forests and WTO Compatibility with EU Action on Deforestation


Most recent publications

Guest Blog: Are European taxpayers funding land grabs and forest destruction?

By Mark Curtis

The central aim of European Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) is to foster growth and reduce poverty. Yet in Africa, evidence is mounting that they have funded ‘forestry’ projects which have caused deforestation, possible land grabs, and undermined communities’ livelihoods.

European Development Finance Institutions and land grabs: The need for further independent scrutiny

This study highlights the role of European Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) in possible land grabs and questionable forestry projects in Africa. It documents nine such cases involving eight of the European DFIs.

PDF iconDFIs&LandGrabs.pdf1.5 MB

Blog: Trading in incoherence? EU trade policy needs improving to give forests, communities and the climate a fair chance

by Perrine Fournier

When it comes to global trade, it is difficult to overestimate the EU’s importance. It is the world’s second largest importer (after the US), and the second largest exporter (after China), and has an overall share of world trade larger than any other trading bloc. More than 30 million jobs in the EU rely on EU exports, and EU trade impacts the lives of many tens of millions more worldwide, not always positively.

Company promises: How businesses are meeting commitments to end deforestation

This report follows a spate of recent work examining company commitments to reduce or end their role in deforestation. What makes this report different is that it looks at the issue from the companies’ perspective, asking them why they have made these commitments; how they monitor progress; the economic costs of these commitments and, importantly, what they perceive as the barriers to achieving their commitments. The report ends with ways forward suggested by interviewees. They conclude that action is needed from companies, producer and consumer country governments and other stakeholders.

PDF iconCompany promises.pdf4.03 MB

Major companies want more government support to end deforestation

Governments should do more to help companies whose products drive tropical deforestation, a new survey of some of the world’s biggest producers and buyers of palm oil, timber, cocoa and rubber has found.

PDF iconCompany Commitments FINAL.pdf361.99 KB