GPSNR urges EU to engage with industry ahead of deforestation regulation
12 Sep 2022
NR sustainability platform recommends a ‘risk-based approach with jurisdictional traceability’
Singapore – The Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) has urged European regulators to engage with the rubber & tire industries as the European Union progresses with its draft anti-deforestation law.
The European Parliament is expected to adopt its position in the plenary session of 12 Sept on a the draft proposal, which will see the imports of certain commodities into the region restricted.
The scope of the proposal covers six commodities of coffee, cocoa, palm oil, soya, beef and wood, at this stage, but may later be extended to other ecosystems such as natural rubber.
In a statement 8 Sept, GPSNR urged EU regulators to continue to engage with the rubber and tire sector to ensure that the decisions made will ‘ultimately deliver social and environmental benefits and improve smallholder livelihoods.’
The Singapore-based body called for a number of factors, including the livelihood of smallholders, to be considered in any regulation addressing deforestation in the NR supply chain, including the present proposal.
“Smallholders represent 85% of natural rubber production globally.
“The design of any regulation relating to natural rubber must consider and mitigate any potential negative impacts on smallholder farmers,” said GPSNR.
In view of the complexity of the NR supply chain, GPSRN proposed that “a risk-based approach that has jurisdictional traceability as its foundation” to be adopted.
This, it said, will offer “a practical and effective approach” to addressing deforestation.
“While advances in traceability are being made in the natural rubber sector, it is currently infeasible to conduct farm-to-factory tracing in all cases,” GPSRN noted.
A risk-based approach, it went on to say, would include requiring some farm-to-factory tracing where risk is non-negligible, but not in every supply chain.
To conclude, the platform called for capacity building to promote sustainable practices, for smallholders and plantations alike.
This, GPSRN said, is “an essential tool to curb deforestation” stressing that any regulation should prioritise funding to enhance capacity building.