The environmental organizations Zero and ANP/WWF, DECO - Consumer Protection, and the TROCA Platform, of Fair International Trade, say they are concerned about the possibility that European legislation to combat global deforestation and the climate and biodiversity crises “may come to be subverted.”

At issue is the European Regulation for Deforestation-Free Products (EUDR), a diploma that came into force last year that organisations consider could be decisive in reaching zero deforestation.

The associations warn, in a statement, that almost all deforestation and degradation of the world's tropical forests (90% to 99%) is due to the unsustainable expansion of agriculture, to produce food for export. The European Union (EU) is one of the main buyers of these products, and the regulation prohibits the entry of those that come from deforestation.

Now, they state in the statement, that despite the approval of the regulation, some States “seek to postpone their commitments and weaken the new rules”.

The four organizations state that the ministers of Agriculture and the Environment, respectively José Manuel Fernandes and Maria da Graça Carvalho, “who helped make this legislation a reality in the European Parliament”, must now “lead an implementation of excellence in Portugal”.

The diploma, the organisations emphasise, aims to prevent the circulation to and from EU countries “of goods tainted by deforestation”, namely those that contain or are risky goods, such as cocoa, coffee, cattle, palm oil, rubber, wood, and soy. Through legislation, the degradation of European and tropical forests, such as the Amazon, can be put an end to.

However, revealing the four associations, an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) showed that states such as Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Romania did not transfer the minimum resources for the implementation of the EUDR.

While “deforestation continues to occur at a worrying rate” there are EU governments “seeking to subvert”, deregulate, and postpone regulation, echoing the positions of some industries, and devaluing the “recognised urgency to tackle environmental crises”, they warn.

The EU's deforestation footprint, according to the statement, is currently the second largest in the world.