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


This is the impact of our daily life on the planet

Blog entry by Rashini Suriyaarachchi | June 7, 2015

Every day, we all make choices that impact our local area, country, and the world at large. It can be hard to make the link between your favourite chocolate treat and deforestation in Indonesia – but when you zoom out a little, the...

APRIL, pulp and paper giant ends its deforestation

Blog entry by Bustar Maitar | June 4, 2015

Indonesian paper giant APRIL just agreed to stop pulping the rainforest. With so many companies trying to put deforestation behind them, will Indonesia's President Jokowi follow their lead? We've achieved so much together. ...

What's the cost of standing up for fundamental rights in India?

Blog entry by Priya Pillai | January 16, 2015

Sunday marked yet another black day for fundamental rights in India. Though these charter of rights are enshrined in our constituion, my experience on Sunday morning at the Delhi airport show that these are not equally accessible to...

Saving Peatland With the President

Blog entry by Longgena Ginting | November 28, 2014

Today we made history in the protection of Indonesian peatlands. I’ve just got back from a monitoring trip to Sumatra’s devastated peatland forests with Indonesia’s new president Jokowi, where the president witnessed firsthand ongoing...

The Soya Moratorium lives on – but what will follow after it?

Blog entry by Richard George | November 28, 2014

For eight years, the  Soya Moratorium  has protected the Amazon rainforest from deforestation.  It has just been renewed for the eighth time . But what happens when it ends for good, 18 months from now? The Soya Moratorium was...

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