At our recent meeting in Portugal, the EEPN had a session to find out what priorities the membership recommends. These recommendations are currently being consulted on with the members who couldn’t be at that meeting, but we are pleased that there were very strong, clear signals about the issues most members think should be our focus.
Top priority remains pillar 1 of our vision: reducing consumption of paper in Europe. This is the single simplest way to reduce the scale of our impacts on the natural resources used to produce paper: forests, water and climate. It is also an ethical issue: if everyone on earth used as much paper as we do in Europe, we’d need two planets to provide the resources, so if we want people in countries who currently use little paper to have the benefits of this valuable material, we in Europe need to use less. We will focus our efforts on campaigning to cut wasteful and low utility paper consumption – things like junk mail, unwanted catalogues and unnecessary packaging.
Our next priority is to stop European trade in the products of deforestation in Indonesia. The forests of this region are particularly important for biodiversity, for community livelihoods and, as many grow on deep peat, as carbon stores. We are in constant contact with civil society groups in Indonesia and we will continue to campaign in solidarity for their land rights, wildlife protection efforts and struggle to prevent destruction of the homes of forest people and forest dependent communities. This is already an important aspect of our work, and our one-stop shop for information about the impacts of the pulp and paper in Indonesia is here.
Other important priorities are for us to work on the impacts of the pulp and paper industry on the boreal forests, to look more deeply into ethical and responsible investment into the industry and to develop our information sharing activities.