• Announcement
22. January 2024
© EU Forest Observatory

Following the entry into force of the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products on 30 June 2023, the European Commission has published further support for the implementation of the Regulation in December 2024, as announced: In addition to presenting the new forest map as part of the EU Forest Observatory (EUFO), the European Commission has updated and extended its existing FAQs from June 2023 and published a factsheet on the EUDR and smallholders.

As part of the EU Multistakeholder Platform on Deforestation, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) presented a first version of the EU Forest Observatory on Deforestation and Forest Degradation (EUFO) on 7 December. It includes a map of global forest cover in 2020 with a resolution of 10x10m, based on global data sets. The map has an accuracy of 80 per cent, although it tends to overestimate forest cover – especially in fragmented areas such as agroforestry systems.

 

© EU Forest Observatory

The map serves as an initial point of reference for a risk assessment of the presence of forest in the production area at the end of 2020. However, it does not guarantee compliance with the Regulation as it is not legally binding, not exhaustive and its use is not mandatory. The EUDR does not prescribe its use and, depending on the context, other maps may have advantages over the EUFO map. As a result, further maps should be consulted if necessary. A technical report on the map will be published in spring 2024. 

The EUFO also includes a map-based Production and Trade of Commodities database showing production and trade flows of EUDR-relevant agricultural commodities and maize, based on data from FAOSTAT and UN COMTRADE. In the future, this database shall map the risk of deforestation in EU supply chains of EUDR-relevant commodities on a country-by-country basis.

As announced, in December the European Commission also updated and extended the FAQs on the implementation of the Regulation, answering specific questions on various topics such as the transition phase, traceability, due diligence declarations and benchmarking. The FAQs are aimed at companies placing or exporting relevant products on the EU market and at traders of products that have already been placed on the market.

The European Commission has also published a new factsheet on the EUDR and smallholders. It outlines the EUDR requirements that smallscale producers should respect and explains the limits of their obligations under the Regulation. It also explains how geocoordinates can be collected and what benefits the EUDR can bring for smallholders.