The Jakarta Post-Environmentalists have given a mixed reaction to the European Union deforestation regulation, welcoming the initiative to clean up the supply chain but noting that it will be implemented unilaterally and that it is not sufficiently effective to prevent and reduce deforestation.

A group of 44 civil society organizations said in a joint statement on Friday that while the regulation tried to clean up the EU’s own commodity supply chain, it failed to address the root causes of deforestation and left it to producer countries to actually stop deforestation.

Yuyun Indradi, executive director of environmental group Trend Asia, said that the term “deforestation” covered by the regulation was still limited to conversion of natural forest into agricultural land, neglecting other kinds of changes such as forest cut down to make way for timber plantations or infrastructure projects.

“This is yet another false solution. The definition of deforestation should be wider to include monoculture plantations, infrastructure and mining because they all clear land and change the forest’s ecosystem and biodiversity,” Yuyun told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached a preliminary political agreement on the deforestation regulation in December 2022, paving the way for its entry into force in May or June this year and into application for operators and traders 18 months after that.

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Photo by Melvinas Priananda/Trend Asia