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


European governments reject stronger legislation on illegal logging

Press release | December 15, 2009 at 18:31

While negotiations to limit the global climate impact of deforestation are underway in Copenhagen, European governments blocked proposals to improve draft legislation to prevent illegal wood and wood products from being placed on the EU market.

European Parliament plenary vote on EU timber law: One step closer to a brighter...

Press release | April 22, 2009 at 12:37

Brussels, Belgium — In a landmark vote today, the European Parliament plenary has supported the recommendations of its environment committee to strictly control timber and timber products sold on the EU market. Agriculture ministers will now have...

Greenpeace statement on the European Parliament environment committee vote on the EU...

Press release | February 17, 2009 at 9:53

Brussels, Belgium — Today, the members of the environment committee of the European Parliament voted to significantly strengthen the draft EU law on timber.

Environment groups: MEPs must improve EU timber law

Press release | February 16, 2009 at 10:58

Brussels, Belgium — Tomorrow, members of the European Parliament’s environment committee will vote on crucial amendments to the Commission’s timber law proposal. The legislation aims to regulate the EU timber market and to tackle the problem of...

EU environment Council: no money on the table for forest protection

Press release | December 4, 2008 at 0:00

Brussels, Belgium — Greenpeace expresses its disappointment that EU member states have failed to openly reject the introduction of forest-based credits in the European carbon market. Instead, it has left the issue open and directed the Commission...

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