4 reasons we all should #StandForForests

March 21, 2014

Natural peatland forest in Sungai Sembilang Nature Conservation Park in South Sumatra. Greenpeace, together with representatives from the National Parliament and the Indonesian National Police, are in Sumatra to bear witness to the huge destruction of Indonesias natural peatland forest. Deforestation is a key source of Indonesias greenhouse gas emissions. Greenpeace is demanding the Indonesian government to fully review the existing logging concessions and to institute full protection of peatland and natural forests.

© Kemal Jufri / Greenpeace

We cannot sustain life without healthy, thriving forests. That is why Greenpeace campaigns for their protection and on this International Day of Forests, we want to share with you a few reasons why you should help.

1. 300 million of us depend on forests in our day-to-day lives.

Failure to protect forests threatens our homes and livelihoods. [caption id="attachment_24969" align="alignnone" width="600"]Local women and children on a road coming from a water hole, in the DRC. Local women and children on a road coming from a water hole, in the DRC.[/caption]

2. Forests absorb nearly 30% of our CO2 emissions.

Not only do they absorb carbon, but they store just under 300 billion tonnes of carbon in their living parts. Its estimated that deforestation is responsible for 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Destroying them will not see that figure reduced. [caption id="attachment_24970" align="alignnone" width="600"]Single tree in a soy field next to rainforest, south of Santarem and along the road BR163 in the Brazilian Amazon. Single tree in a soy field next to rainforest, south of Santarem and along the road BR163 in the Brazilian Amazon.[/caption]

3. Forests are home to more than 50% of all plant and animal species.

In the last few hundred years extinction rates have increased by up to a thousand times. This rate could increase further if we do not protect our forests. [caption id="attachment_24971" align="alignnone" width="600"]Baby orangutans at the Orangutan Foundation International Care Center in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Baby orangutans at the Orangutan Foundation International Care Center in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.[/caption]

4. Forests provide vital medicines.

70% of the plants identified as having anti-cancer characteristics by the US National Cancer Institute are found only in tropical rainforests. About a quarter of drugs used in conventional medicines are derived from rainforest plants. [caption id="attachment_24972" align="alignnone" width="600"]Aerial view of the Congolese rainforest. Taken on a flight from Kinshasa to Bumba. Aerial view of the Congolese rainforest. Taken on a flight from Kinshasa to Bumba.[/caption]

Take Action

Corporations must clean up their act and governments must enforce strong legislation to protect what forests remain. Today, over 10,000 people arestorming Twitter and Facebook under the hashtag #StandForForeststo show the world that forests must be protected. You can take action too.We uncovered widespread forest destructionin the supply chains of consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. For months now, this company has not responded with a promise to guarantee forest friendly product. Sign up here to get involved. Together, one step at a time, we can achieve zero deforestation!

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