How to address causes of deforestation other than illegal logging was on the agenda at a conference held by the European Commission (EC) in Brussels in June. The theme of the conference was evaluation and future work for the EU Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT).
A study conducted by EC in 2013 showed that deforestation due to EU wood import is significantly lower than deforestation caused by EU import of agricultural cash crops and livestock products.
At the conference “jurisdictional certification” was discussed as a possible solution to these challenges.
“Jurisdictional certification” implies to address deforestation through political jurisdictions at all scales – both districts, provinces and countries.
A wide range of stakeholders, including companies, government agencies, smallholders, indigenous peoples and civil society, would work together to achieve better land-use.
Equally important, “jurisdictional certification” would not only address timber, but all “forest-risk” commodities, counting palm oil, cocoa and soy. In this way, all commodities in a given area would be certified as “sustainable”. This is crucial, as in some cases, standards for sustainable timber production is higher than for production of “sustainable” palm oil, cocoa or soy.
Moreover, the aim is to overcome the competition between different land-use, which is often the case with exciting certification systems focusing on single commodities.