EU deforestation law could sideline Indigenous forest management

By JP Gladu, founder and principal of Mokwateh
Business in Vancouver
June 7, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

JP Gladu

In April, I joined a Canadian delegation in Brussels to discuss a single, critical issue with EU policymakers—the newly minted EU Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR) and the looming implications it may bring to bear on the future of sustainable Canadian forestry and Indigenous-led forest management, self-determination and economic prosperity. The EUDR is an ambitious policy intended to combat global deforestation by ensuring commodities entering the EU market—such as wood and paper—do not originate from jurisdictions that enable deforestation or contribute to forest degradation. And while the EU’s intent to halt global deforestation is commendable, the current policy framework risks setting a dangerous precedent by introducing a euro-centric definition of ‘forest degradation’ that may undermine responsible forestry practices and encroach on Indigenous-owned and co-managed forest operations across Canada. …The unintended consequences will disqualify Canadian forest products that come from primary harvested lands that are replanted with the same, native species trees that were there. 

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