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Study claims EU is linked to tropical deforestation

A recent report by advocacy group Fern has suggested that the EU is partly responsible for continuing deforestation in other parts of the world.

Fern is based in Brussels and is particularly concerned with forestry issues. The organisation’s latest research has contended that the impact of the European Union, via foreign agriculture, on former forestland is greater than that of China or the United States on a per-person basis.

While it is hard to be precise about the outcomes of illegal activity, Fern has asserted that the EU is behind the purchase of more than £4 billion of produce grown on land that was meant to be protected. Over 50 per cent of this total stems from farming in Brazil.

The appetite for corned beef among the British public may be linked to the problem, according to Fern. If sustainable timber use is to become more effective, then some other EU policies might have to be implemented with greater force. It is possible to source wood responsibly, and woodblock flooring in Liverpool can be acquired on that basis.

Sam Lawson, who produced the Fern report, has said:

“Promises from big companies are all well and good, but I don’t think the voluntary approach will succeed on its own because of the level of illegality and poor governance involved.”

Lawson has expressed satisfaction at what the EU has achieved by taking regulatory steps in relation to the timber industry. However, his concern is that this progress could be undermined if the EU neglects the influence of foreign agricultural produce.

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