Zero deforestation

Forest destruction produces about one fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions - more than all the cars, planes, and trains in the world.

Lulu John, Warume Sakas and Aebi Sakas bring home food and medicine gathered from the forest at Elie, Middle Fly District, PNG.

The world's ancient forests are still being destroyed, even though we know that they provide the world with clean, fresh water, support as much as 90 per cent of the earth's land-based plant and animals and play a critical role in shaping the world's climate. They are also home to millions of forest dependent people. Yet every two seconds a forest area the size of a soccer pitch is logged or burned. Less than 20 per cent of the earth's original forest cover remains in intact forest landscapes. More than one third of this is under threat.

Industrial logging is the greatest menace to the forests survival. Transnational corporations have destructive operations and often work outside the law, harvesting the worlds' last remaining ancient forests.

Incredibly, these irreplaceable habitats are cut down to make cheap paper and wood products, such as phone books, milk cartons and chopsticks. Huge volumes of plywood, much of it used to make disposable concrete moulds, come from ancient forests.

Logging also contributes to climate change because carbon, a greenhouse gas, is released when trees are cut down. Present rates of forest destruction account for 15 per cent of global carbon emissions.

The forests can be saved

This destruction is unnecessary. Environmentally and socially responsible forest management can, and is, being practised worldwide. However, with currently less than 5% credibly certified as responsibly managed, ancient forests continue to be at risk from accelerating rates of destructive and illegal logging.

If we use wood and paper efficiently, we would not need to take the wood from our ancient forests, consumer demand could be met by well-managed secondary forests, plantation, recycling and non-wood sources like hemp.

What is Greenpeace doing internationally?

Greenpeace is campaigning globally to protect the last remaining ancient forests by opposing their destruction and supporting community-based solutions, through:

  • A moratorium on industrial developments in large intact ancient forests so that land use planning can be completed and a network of protected areas established.
  • Ensuring governments increase their efforts to stop illegal logging and the trade in illegal wood products. Also that they stop funding or approving projects that expand logging into ancient forests or that convert or degrade ancient forests.
  • Supporting community forest use 'solutions' that protect the forest ecosystem.

What is Greenpeace New Zealand doing?

Greenpeace New Zealand's work to save our ancient forests focuses mainly on the protection of the Paradise Forests, which are located through Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Indonesia.

What can you do?

  • There are several easy things you can do to help - go to the what you can do pages and take action to save our ancient forests!

The latest updates

 

Ladies and gentlemen, meet The Great Northern Forest

Blog entry by Juha Aromaa | December 7, 2016

The Great Northern Forest has many names. Scientists see The Great Northern Forest as the boreal forest ecosystem - the global coniferous forest blanketing the northern hemisphere. The Russians traditionally call it “Taiga”. If you...

Protecting what protects us

Blog entry by Daniel Mittler | December 7, 2016

The diversity of nature is essential to ensure our planet remains habitable. That is why we need to stand up to all those who endanger the global web of life – those who plunder the Commons for private gain. Back in 1992,...

Four ways our forests must be part of the climate conversation

Blog entry by Jannes Stoppel | December 1, 2016

On a warming planet, forests hold the key to stopping climate change. Forest landscapes and agricultural areas can absorb emissions like a sponge. They take carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis, and store it in wood and...

One year later and no justice: Communities affected by dam disaster speak out

Blog entry by Fabiana Alves | November 10, 2016

This past Saturday – 5 November, 2016 – hundreds of people gathered at the ruins of the Bento Rodrigues school in Mariana, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. They were there out of remembrance, and to call for justice. Exactly one year...

To live in peace, meet the Japanese community fighting for their forest

Blog entry by Takashi Morizumi | October 25, 2016

For 20 years, the people of Okinawa, Japan have opposed the construction of a US military base that will damage the marine environment and endangered sea creatures like the Japanese dugong. Now the construction threatens to take over...

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