By: Dupito Simamora (Deputy Executive Director of CPOPC)
The European Union wants to be the global leader for a sustainable planet. For that ambition, the EU has plans to reduce its environmental impact through proposals including a greener version of the Common Agricultural Policy, a carbon border tax and committed to protecting 30% of land and seas for biodiversity.
Will these ambitions be possible?
The answer is almost impossible for two reasons. First, the EU’s global trade partners reject the proposals. The carbon border tax for example, has been criticized by the US which is the EU’s biggest trading partner. Secondly, within its member states, especially France and Germany, finding 30% of land to protect will not be possible as the powerful agricultural sector in these countries are not likely to give up their farms for the sake of biodiversity. As it stands, 41.1 % of the total area in the EU is occupied by agriculture with a further 32.6% occupied by forestry.
France in particular, will be problematic for the EU as land protected areas of France in Europecover a mere 1.35% of its land.The French report in early March that revealed that 187 species of flora and fauna have completely disappeared from mainland and overseas France in the last 13 years was particularly disturbing to say the least.Pesticides have been named as one the of the main factor in the biodiversity loss in France and I believe that other countries of Europe suffer similar problems. Land degradation, and water and air pollution has been argued by Indonesia when it comes to application of pesticides and fertilizer in vegetable oils sector. It is not a secret that rapeseed and sunflower are notoriously dependent for pesticides and fertilizer compared with palm oil. We need more than an explanation from France and the EU on this latest development.
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