Despite recognition of the multifaceted problem that is deforestation, multilateral institutions for forest governance remain extremely weak, while zero deforestation commitments by transnational corporations and national governments have produced limited effects to date. In this context, the European Commission recently released its long-awaited proposal for a deforestation regulation, which prohibits businesses from placing agricultural products derived from deforested land on the EU market and requires them to demonstrate due diligence that they have mitigated the risks of doing so, subject to stringent penalties.

This public symposium, organised by SPUI25, will bring together policy makers, researchers, and stakeholders from within and beyond the EU to discuss the ambitions, challenges, and opportunities of the proposed regulation, including areas where the proposed legislation might be improved to take account of concerns raised by the participants. The symposium will consist of two linked panels, this first one focusing on demand-side measures to ensure that products placed on the EU market are deforestation-free. The second one (date to be announced) considers supply-side measures undertaken in partnership with producer countries to combat deforestation and forest degration.

Delara Burkhardt is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD);
Rob Busink is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; Alison Hoare is a Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House (London), with expertise in international forestry policy, forest governance, and natural resource use and trade;
Pablo Pacheco is WWF’s Global Forests Lead Scientist, based in Washington DC;
Jonathan Zeitlin (moderator) is Distinguished Faculty Professor of Public Policy and Governance at the UvA and ACES Academic Director.