Never has the threat to the world's forests been more acute nor the risk of dangerous climate change so imminent. With up to one-fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions being caused by forest destruction, these problems are intimately linked.
An aerial view shows hotspots of forest fires in the Riau region. Palm oil companies are clearing forest and peatlands with fires in preparation for oil palm plantations.
© Greenpeace/ Vinai Dithajohn
We are taking a stand against forest destruction and climate change by working with local communities in Indonesia and opening a Forest Defenders Camp in the Riau province of Sumatra.
Our choice of Indonesia was simple. Forests there are being destroyed faster than any other major forested country, for logging and to make space for yet more oil palm plantations. The massive amounts of greenhouse gases being released by deforestation and forest fires make Indonesia the country with the world's third-largest greenhouse gas emissions.
Crucially, Indonesia hosted international climate talks in December 2007. Governments from around the world gathered in Bali to negotiate about extending the Kyoto Protocol, the only international agreement containing legally-binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
We aim to ensure that deforestation is included in the next phase of the Kyoto agreement extending beyond 2012. The Camp is a step towards bringing the huge extent of forest destruction to global attention.
In collaboration with local communities in Riau, our volunteers will bear witness and document the rampant destruction of the region's peatland forests that are cleared for oil palm plantations.
Governments and the international community are still turning a blind eye to forest destruction which is wiping out species of plants and animals and driving local communities from their homes. Forests also help regulate the world's climate and global weather patterns; environmental systems that support life on Earth.
The decisions that governments make in the near future are critical for securing the financing and capacity needed by countries to safeguard their tropical forests and to allow them to make a serious contribution to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Here you can discover more about the devastation of Indonesia's forests, why forest destruction drives climate change, about the Forest Defenders Camp and the long-term solutions to these problems.
Destruction of Indonesia's Forests
Forests and Climate up in smoke
Forest defenders camp
Long term solutions