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


Here's why I'm celebrating Russia's fire ban

Blog entry by Anton 'Benny' Beneslavsky | November 16, 2015

Today the Russian government has banned the burning of dry grass on agricultural land and conservation areas. This might sound somewhat trivial, perhaps for those who have never witnessed a forest fire or had a chance to stand in...

Sad, scared, alone. The baby orangutan orphaned by the plantation industry

Blog entry by Zamzami | November 13, 2015

For half an hour Otan wouldn't let go. Only eight months old, he already had a vice-like grip, his nails digging so deep they left half-moon imprints in the skin of his carer. If there were trees, Otan would be swinging freely from...

It’s time to end forest and peatland destruction in Indonesia

Blog entry by Grant Rosoman | November 11, 2015

I am a forest campaigner for Greenpeace. I’ve just returned to Christchurch from Indonesia and have bad news to report: Fires are raging through the Indonesian rainforest and peatlands again this year. Every year, these fires grow more...

1.4 million Brazilians just stood up for Zero Deforestation

Blog entry by Maïa Booker | October 22, 2015

It was an historic moment. After three years of campaigning, a coalition of activists, celebrities and civil society representatives crowded into the Brazilian Congress last week. They were there to submit a bill calling for an end to...

“My land is not for sale.” One First Nation’s fight to save ancestral forest

Blog entry by Marie Moucarry | September 25, 2015

The Broadback Valley is one of the last intact forests in Quebec, Canada. For hundreds of kilometres, there’s not a road, not a clearcut, not a mine, not a power line, not a pipeline…just pure wilderness. And without protection,...

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