The European pulp and paper industry fully supports efforts and initiatives contributing to halt deforestation and forest degradation around the globe and recommends the EU to take effective and proportionate actions to counter this serious problem. Global deforestation and forest degradation have utterly adverse impacts on climate change and biodiversity loss, as they reduce carbon sink capacity and the overall provision of a diverse range of essential forest ecosystem services, including the delivery of raw materials.
Healthy, resilient, and growing forests are of strategic importance for the future of pulp and paper industries, and thus the industry is committed to sustainable forest management to ensure that forests fulfil multiple environmental, social and economic functions now and in the future.
Since decades the industry applies third-party verified robust forest certification systems to ascertain that the wood-based raw material originates from responsibly managed forests, which now cover 74% of the wood supply. Although pulp and paper production is not a driver of deforestation, undue associations continue to put a shade on industries that work with forests in a sustainable way and contribute to climate change mitigation by providing alternatives to fossil-based and CO2-intensive materials.
Cepi puts forward the following recommendations in light of the recent adoption of the proposal for a Regulation concerning certain commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation:
1) Focus on commodities and products that have the most impact on global deforestation and forest degradation.
2) Definitions established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations should be used. Definitions should ensure legal clarity and be implementable.
3) Due diligence should incorporate third party certification as a valid tool for risk assessment and mitigation.