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ClientEarth Communications

12th April 2022

The People's Republic of China

EU-China Workshop on Deforestation in Supply Chains held in Beijing

On 8th April, as part of the EU-China Environment Project, the EU Delegation to China co-hosted an EU-China Workshop on Building Legal and Policy Systems for Zero-deforestation Supply Chains, together with the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Office (FECO) of China’s Ministry of Ecology and with support of ClientEarth.

The main goals of the workshop were to present the EU’s recent legislative proposal to minimize the presence of products associated with deforestation in the EU market and gather feedback from relevant Chinese stakeholders on the proposal and on possible cooperation. A study on legal measures to control deforestation risks in supply chains, will also be conducted jointly by FECO, the China University of Policy and Law and ClientEarth.

The workshop featured over 70 attendees, both in person and online, including representatives from the Chinese government, the EU and its Member States, business and industry associations, NGOs and think tanks. There was a large representation from Chinese government departments or affiliated agencies, including the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Chen Ming, the Deputy Chief Economist of FECO, and Mr. Sebastian Paquot, the head of section for Climate and Environment of the EU delegation to China, provided the workshop’s opening remarks.

Three representatives of the EU in charge of Environment, International Partnership and Trade presented the EU’s legislative proposal on deforestation-free commodities, while Francois Lemal, in charge of environment policies at the French Embassy, provided an EU member state’s perspective. In the next session Chen Ming presented a recent series of policy research initiatives by the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), a high-level Chinese State Council think tank.

Prof. Yu Wenxuan, Director of the Environmental Law Center at the China University of Political Science and Law, and Jiang Boya, Nature and Climate Lawyer at ClientEarth, gave an introduction to the joint comparative study on Legal Mechanism of Green Supply Chains to be conducted by the two organizations as well as FECO. The workshop also included speakers from industry associations and civil society, such as Gao Guan, Vice President of the China Meat Association, Anton van den Brink, from the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC), Tian Baxter from the Global Environmental Institute and Helen Bellfield from Trase.

The EU–China Environment Project, established in 2018 and funded by the EU, is implemented by ClientEarth, alongside GOPA and the Policy Research Centre for Environment and Economy of the MEE. It supports cooperation between the EU and China on environmental policy, and aims to improve environmental protection standards and increase integration between the EU and China on environmental governance.