The French Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the French ministries of the environment, foreign affairs, the economy, and research and innovation, unveiled the content of the National Strategy Against Imported Deforestation, whose principles were first announced in 2017. The unveiling of the proposed plan is the first step before its final adoption, and it was opened for public comments this summer. Imported deforestation refers to imported products that are directly or indirectly the result of deforestation or forest degradation (for example, wood coming from environmentally sensitive forests that have been chopped down; but also products such as beef or palm oil that were produced in areas of slash-and-burn cultivation).

During the first half of 2018, France presided over a group of signatory countries of the Amsterdam declarations. Signed by six member states of the European Union as well as Norway, these declarations have the goal of eliminating deforestation from the supply chains of imported agricultural raw materials and supporting the supply of sustainable palm oil by 2020.

The National Strategy Against Imported Deforestation constitutes a collective recognition that brings together all actors around a common objective. It is designed to facilitate and accelerate the mobilization of the French government and associated parties to change the supply of businesses while remaining in a constructive dialogue with producing countries.

Through this national strategy, the French government also aims to encourage a European and international dynamic to fight against imported products resulting from deforestation, and calls, in particular, for a European-wide initiative for fighting against deforestation and forest degradation.

The strategy will be made up of five broad guidelines:

  1. The first part of the strategy aims to develop, enhance, and share knowledge around the theme of deforestation.
  2. The second presents actions to take against imported deforestation and to develop international cooperation around the subject.
  3. The third details measures that will allow for the creation of public policies to serve as tools in the encouragement of a demand for sustainable products.
  4. The fourth aims to encourage and coordinate the involvement of all actors.
  5. And finally, the last axe of the strategy presents monitoring arrangements for the national strategy to guarantee that it meets its objectives.