Protecting essential forests

Clearcut of state-owned Finnish old growth forest.


Without healthy forests, Earth cannot sustain life. They absorb a massive amount of greenhouse gasses and are home to hundreds of millions of people and two-thirds of the known terrestrial species, including the largest share of threatened species.

However, 72 percent of Indonesia's forest landscapes and 15 percent of the Amazon’s have already been lost forever. Now the Congo’s forests face the same threat. While the causes vary from region to region, they all have one thing in common: human activity.

Agri-business is responsible for massive rainforest destruction as forests are burned to make way for cattle ranches, or cleared for palm oil or soya plantations. Agricultural products are used in Europe to make toothpaste, chocolate and animal feed.

Industrial logging for timber, pulp and paper is devastating much of the world's rainforests to make the disposable wood products we find in our European stores - paper for our glossy magazines, toilet paper and packaging.

The mass destruction of rainforests is responsible for up to a fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions - more than every plane, car, truck, ship and train on the planet combined.

With so many of the world's forests already destroyed, we urgently need to protect what is left. Greenpeace is campaigning for zero deforestation, globally, by 2020.

Greenpeace’s European unit campaigns for:

-    policies to eliminate Europe’s deforestation footprint
-    a moratorium on destructive activities in the last intact forest landscapes
-    a meaningful, international financial mechanism to reduce deforestation in developing countries

The latest updates


Europe’s biofuels plans driving social and environmental destruction

Press release | November 8, 2010 at 0:00

Brussels, International — Plans to increase the use of biofuels in Europe over the next ten years will require up to 69 000 square kilometres of new land worldwide and make climate change worse, a new study reveals today [1]. The report finds...

EU bans illegal timber

Press release | July 7, 2010 at 0:00

Strasbourg, International — Europe will finally close its doors to the destructive illegal timber trade after agreeing far-reaching new legislation.

EU prepares to ban illegal timber destroying forests around the world

Press release | June 16, 2010 at 0:00

Brussels, International — Greenpeace is pleased that after two years of difficult negotiations and seven years after the EU first planned to crack down on illegal timber pouring into the EU market, a ban now seems a step away.

Broken biofuel policies still driving rainforest destruction

Press release | June 10, 2010 at 0:00

Brussels, International — New sustainability guidelines for biofuels in Europe do not go far enough to prevent a dramatic increase in deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. The guidelines and an associated certification scheme only address...

Parliament pressures EU governments to ban illegal timber

Press release | May 4, 2010 at 0:00

Brussels, International — The European Parliament environment committee sent a strong signal to the Council by backing tough measures that would ban illegally logged wood products in the EU, said Greenpeace following a second reading vote in...

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