Protecting China’s Forests

Standard Page - 2011-06-21
China’s domestic forests have been severely decimated, and at the same time, China’s development threatens the world’s remaining ancient forests.

China’s domestic forests have been severely decimated, and at the same time, China’s development threatens the world’s remaining ancient forests. Greenpeace is against the conversion of natural forests to plantations. China must implement strict protection for the country’s dwindling natural forests and ancient forests.

Say No to Disposable Chopsticks

  • Though one pair of chopsticks may use a small quantity of wood, they can quickly add up. China produces 57 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks every year, which requires over 1.18 million square meters of forest, according to the Forest Ministry's statistics from 2004 to 2009.
  • But the country's natural forest resources are extremely limited, ranking 139th in the world – so there’s absolutely no reason to cut down 3.8 million trees a year to make chopsticks that are used once and then thrown away.

Since 2007, Greenpeace has been working to reduce the use of disposable chopsticks. Volunteers and celebrities have helped us to lobby restaurants – in just six months, over 300 restaurants in Beijing, including major chains, agreed to stop using disposable chopsticks. We also organized outreach events to raise awareness of the problems of waste and deforestation. Most recently, in December 2010, we collaborated with college student volunteers and Ogilvy to “revive” 80,000 chopsticks by turning them back into trees. Read more here.

Forest Crimes Unit: Greenpeace Takes Action

In recent years, Greenpeace’s Forest Crimes Unit has been closely monitoring forest destruction within China. Starting from 2003, Greenpeace has exposed APP’s illegal deforestation in Yunnan and Hainan. In 2005, APP was forced to pledge to China’s Forestry Bureau that it will closely follow the government’s relevant laws and regulations and operate legally and officially.

The secret behind the fast growth of eucalyptus

During the severe drought in southwestern China in 2010, the Greenpeace Forest Crimes Unit went to investigate one of the impacted provinces, Guangxi. They discovered that multiple dams and reservoirs had illegal plantations of eucalyptus nearby, which may impact local ecology and water levels.  Greenpeace called on the Guangxi forestry department to immediately investigate these illegal eucalyptus plantations and prevent monoculture plantations in ecologically protected areas.

The Greenpeace Forest Crimes Unit has also investigated the logging of Hainan’s coastal forests for real estate and tourism developments in 2010, as well as illegal deforestation in western Sichuan in early 2011.

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