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


Juncker Commission 1st anniversary: a ‘lost year’ for environmental protection

Press release | November 2, 2015 at 9:42

Brussels – One year since the entry into office of the current European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker, environmental groups have criticised the EU executive for a paralysis in policymaking on issues related to the environment.

TTIP negotiators contemplate systematic dismantling of environmental standards,...

Press release | October 23, 2015 at 11:22

Brussels – Negotiators at EU-US trade talks ending in Miami later on Friday have discussed a system to weaken environmental standards that stand in the way of corporate interests, said Greenpeace. The talks are taking place against a backdrop of...

Commission TTIP plan retains privileged corporate justice system

Press release | September 16, 2015 at 13:19

Brussels – The European Commission’s modified plan for an Investment Court System under an EU-US trade agreement (known as TTIP) continues to give foreign investors a privileged justice system to challenge EU standards on the environment, health...

Brazil confirms EU countries are importing fraudulent Amazon timber

Press release | June 9, 2015 at 9:23

Brussels - Greenpeace today exposed twenty-two sawmills and 45 exporters involved in the use of false documents for exports of illegal timber to Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom...

Concerns remain over Juncker Commission’s commitment to environment

Press release | October 22, 2014 at 14:17

With today’s vote by the European Parliament a new political phase begins in the European Union. The Green 10 alliance of leading environmental organisations calls on President Juncker and his team of Commissioners to give European citizens, and...

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