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Newsletter 272

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

February 2019
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Sunday, 24 February 2019

A divisive debate over the green credentials of biofuels has stalled investment and threatens the future of some producers, but could also create lucrative opportunities, according to European companies. After a two-year investigation, the European Commission has decided that the complex issue of 'indirect land use change' (ILUC) – or displaced deforestation – can lessen carbon savings from biofuels. In July it may announce moves to curb the least sustainable - possibly by raising an EU-wide sustainability benchmark.

By early 2014, all shipments of wood products to the European Union from Liberia will be required to carry a license certifying their legal origin. A Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to that end was signed on 9 May by the EU and Liberia, which contains over half of the remaining rainforest in West Africa.

Following the publication of new rules, EU Member State Ministries of Agriculture are required to publish before April 30 2011 detailed figures on all legal persons (companies) which are beneficiaries of Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) funding in 2010.

From 12th to 14th May, Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will visit the Republic of Sudan, including South Sudan. This is the first official visit by a European Commissioner since the referendum took place last January. Commissioner Piebalgs will underline that the Commission stands ready to do all it can to support the new country of South Sudan when it gains independence on 9 July.

The EU's 2020 biodiversity strategy, presented yesterday (3 May) by the European Commission, seeks to boost the bloc's tiny green budget by steering more Common Agricultural Policy payments towards rewarding farmers and foresters for protecting the environment. The European Commission's new strategy to protect and improve the state of Europe's biodiversity over the next decade highlights six priority targets, accompanied by corresponding measures needed to reach them.