France to stop imports linked to deforestation

Imports and Exports | 6 December 2018

Imports that harm the environment are to be halted in France by 2030.


France is to try to stop all imports that are linked to deforestation by 2030 in a bid to help the environment and boost sustainability.

A joint national strategy released by seven French ministries said the nation wants to jump ahead of the rest of the European Union by halting the importing of soy, palm oil, beef, wood and other products that cannot be produced sustainably within the next 12 years.

It warned that bringing in agricultural products from developing nations that do not practise sound environmental standards is responsible for more than a third of global deforestation.

"The EU, a major global economic player, bears an important responsibility to set an example," a statement said, adding that other countries should follow suit and also adopt measures to reduce the environmental impact of their trade.

Among the strategies unveiled as part of the initiative are financial aid for developing countries to respect non-deforestation criteria, a special label for consumers and the phasing out of biofuels containing feedstock that contribute to deforestation.

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, global forest cover was reduced by 129 million hectares between 1990 and 2015.

Every year, 18.7 million acres of forest is lost, equivalent to 27 soccer fields every minute, WWF has warned.