IFLs Map

Protecting forests

We campaign for forest protection because, without healthy, thriving forests, planet Earth cannot sustain life. As much as eighty per cent of the world's forests have been degraded or destroyed. Greenpeace is campaigning for zero deforestation by 2020 to protect what is left of these extraordinary ecosystems.

Evolving over millennia, tropical forests are one of the greatest storehouses of nature's diversity on Earth; of all of the world's land species, around two thirds live in forests. Many of these rare creatures - orang-utans, tigers, jaguars, forest elephants and rhinos - are increasingly threatened by extinction.

But the importance of forests stretches far beyond their own boundaries. Forests help to regulate the Earth's climate because they store nearly 300 billion tonnes of carbon in their living parts - roughly 40 times the annual greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

When they're destroyed through logging or burning, this carbon is released into the atmosphere as the climate changing greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. The destruction of forests 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.

Forests also regulate water flow and rainfall so we depend on them to grow our crops and food. The loss of forest in one part of the world can have severe impacts in another; forest loss in Amazonia and Central Africa can severely reduce rainfall in the USA Midwest, for example.

With so many of the world's forests already destroyed, we urgently need to protect what is left. Yet industry is still relentlessly converting forests into disposable products that end up in our shopping baskets - while pushing species to the brink of extinction, destroying the lives and livelihoods of forest communities and exacerbating global climate change.

Man made fires to clear land for cattle or crops in Brazil.

Greenpeace is campaigning for zero deforestation, globally, by 2020.

To achieve this, we challenge destructive industries to change their practices, and we inspire consumer action to demand that our food, paper and timber products aren't linked to forest destruction.

We lobby political power holders to take the co-ordinated international and local political action that's needed to protect the world's forests, the rights of the people who depend on them, biodiversity and the climate.

We work alongside indigenous communities at the frontline of forest destruction - in the Amazon, the Congo, Indonesia - to investigate, document, expose and take action against forest destruction.

With the help of hundreds of thousands of supporters, we've won some amazing victories. Deforestation of the Amazon for soya and beef has significantly reduced due to the soya and cattle moratoria, the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada has been protected and is being sustainably managed, 80,000 hectares of northern Finnish reindeer grazing forests have been protected, and, thanks to pressure from our supporters, multinational giants like Nestlé and Unilever have changed their palm oil sourcing policies to help protect Indonesia's rainforests and peatlands.

In recent years, the possibility of a global political framework to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) has moved firmly onto the international political agenda. Greenpeace is campaigning for the right deal - which, if achieved, could benefit biodiversity, people and the climate as well protecting the world's forests.

But, in the minute it has taken you to read this page, a forest area the size of 35 football pitches has been destroyed. Our Earth's extraordinary and irreplaceable forests need to be protected, urgently. Sign up to join the campaign here:

The latest updates

 

European authorities: time to act on illegal timber

Blog entry by Daniela Montalto | 28 October, 2014

Sawmills in the Brazilian Amazon are laundering illegal timber and sending shipments overseas. It's against the law to place illegal timber on the European market, yet the authorities are doing very little about it. Two weeks...

7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate

Blog entry by Helena Meresman | 17 October, 2014 7 comments

Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers,...

Greenpeace tracks down illegal timber for export

Blog entry by Richard George | 15 October, 2014 3 comments

My colleagues – and friends – in Brazil spent two months placing GPS trackers on illegal loggers in the Amazon. It's dangerous – but it helps us expose their crimes to the world. Greenpeace activists lived amongst the loggers near...

Endangered species pay the price of palm oil's expansion

Blog entry by Ntumwel Bonito Chia and Denis Kupsch | 3 October, 2014 4 comments

There have been a number of reports in recent months shedding light on the serious threat industrial agribusiness plantations can pose to the habitat of large mammals. Be this the gorilla, the chimpanzee, the forest elephant or...

Forests need laws, not loopholes

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 25 September, 2014 2 comments

Sitting in the towering United Nation's building on New York's east side, it might be hard for world leaders to picture a destroyed forest, but I know just how depressing the site is. In Indonesia, and elsewhere, we've seen vast tracks...

1 - 5 of 322 results.

Categories
Tags