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Indigenous groups warn EU Commission of continued deforestation in Malaysia, as EU law nears

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Euractiv or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Indigenous representatives from Malaysia, alongside NGOs, urged the European Commission to include civil society in discussions about the EU’s anti-deforestation regulation (EUDR)
• This regulation requires proof that products like palm oil and timber have not contributed to deforestation post-2020, which could significantly impact Malaysian farmers

🔭 The context: Malaysia, a major palm oil producer, has committed to sustainable practices but still faces significant deforestation risks
• Indigenous communities, especially in Sarawak, have been heavily impacted by palm oil expansion
• Local policies are often not supportive of smallholders, leading to calls for greater civil society engagement

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The EUDR aims to reduce deforestation, promoting sustainable production and protecting natural forests
• Involving indigenous voices is crucial for addressing human rights and environmental impacts. Sustainable palm oil certification and adherence to global standards are essential for mitigating deforestation

⏭️ What's next: The EU will finalize the EUDR's implementation details, including a benchmarking system to classify countries by deforestation risk
• Malaysia must address deforestation drivers to avoid high-risk classification, which could affect trade. Enhanced civil society engagement and stricter local enforcement are needed

💬 One quote: “The EUDR has given campaigners more tools to highlight issues and challenges on the ground.” - Celine Lim, Director of NGO SAVE RIVERS

📈 One stat: Malaysia could lose up to 16% of its remaining forests due to unused land concessions, equating to 3.2 million hectares—larger than Belgium

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