Jakarta, 22 April 2022 –We, the undersigned Indonesian civil society groups, welcome the proposal of the European Union Due Diligence Regulation (EUDDR) which will regulate deforestation-free and forest degradation-free commodities and products. This marks a serious step-change in the response of consumer countries in Europe to the pressing challenges of the climate crisis, including the realization that the European Union’s consumption of various commodities and their derivatives is one of the causes of increasing biodiversity loss and an active contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
The initial action to ensure that the six main commodities that are widely consumed in EU member states–palm oil, timber, coffee, cocoa, soybeans and beef–are free from deforestation and forest degradation, reflects the EU’s responsibility as a consumer.
However, as part of the civil society in the producing countries that will be indirectly affected by this regulation, we consider that cleaning the supply chain of commodities and products entering the EU market is not enough. This EU regulatory initiative fails to include the provision of incentives and support towards the efforts to reduce and prevent deforestation, as well as reforming the commodity production patterns by producing countries currently undertaking an endeavor to address the causes of deforestation and not yet reach the deforestation-free stage.
This one-sided approach, instead of strengthening investment in forest protection and halting deforestation, can potentially undermine the ongoing initiatives by producing countries to improve forest and land governance in their respective countries through policy reforms and mandatory commitments set upon the private sector producing forest-risk commodities.
The proposed regulation also disregards the potential direct consequences it has on independent smallholders in the form of their exclusion from the supply chain which will have a detrimental impact on their livelihoods.
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