Solutions to Deforestation

Ending deforestation is our best chance to preserve biodiversity and defend the rights of forest communities. On top of that, it’s one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to curb global warming. We’re campaigning for a deforestation-free future.

Orangutan in Tanjung Puting National Park

Orangutan at a feeding station run by Orangutan Foundation International. The area, near Tanjung Harapan village, Kumai District, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, has recently been removed from the Tanjung Puting National Park and allocated to the oil palm company PT Andalan Sukses Makmur, a subsidiary of Bumitama Agri Ltd.

© Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace

The causes of deforestation vary from region to region, but have one important thing in common: us. Human activity is behind all major causes of forest destruction, whether it’s to support the industries that make products we use every day or make space to grow our food.

Read more about some of the ways corporations, consumers and politicians are contributing to deforestation.

Solving Deforestation

Deforestation is a complex problem. While there are no silver bullet solutions, these three approaches can have the type of big impact we need to protect our forests.

Pressuring Corporations and Markets

If corporations have the power to destroy the world’s forests, they also have the power to help save them.

Companies can make an impact by introducing zero deforestation policies and cleaning up their supply chains. That means holding their suppliers accountable for producing commodities like timber, beef, soy, palm oil and paper in a way that has a minimal impact on natural forests and the climate.

Companies can also introduce paper procurement policies that set ambitious targets to maximize use of recycled wood, pulp, paper and fiber in their products and ensure that any virgin fiber used is certified by a third party certification system such as the Forest Stewardship Council.

But these corporations haven’t taken action on their own.

That’s why we’re investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse by corporations. And thanks to your actions, major companies are changing their ways.

Learn more about what corporations like Kimberly-Clark, Kraft and Burger King have done on their end to stop deforestation.

Promoting Sustainable Consumer Options

When consumers speak, corporations listen.

Individuals can make a difference in the fight to save forests by setting the best example. We can all use the power of our purchases to put pressure on companies that have bad environmental practices.

By buying recycled or certified wood products, only supporting brands with zero deforestation policies, and getting others to do the same, we can send a message loud and clear that companies need to be part of the effort to create a deforestation-free future.

Changing the Politics

If we’re going to stop deforestation, we need government to do its part.

Specifically, we need world leaders to embrace ambitious domestic and international forest policies based on the latest science.

In the U.S., we use laws like the Wilderness Act, the Lacey Act and the Roadless Rule to protect our forests and stop illegal wood products from entering the US marketplace. We also support and use global treaties like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to help protect forests and the endangered plant and animal species that rely on forests for habitats.

And globally, we urgently need commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in tropical forest developing nations. Forests for Climate is one way to make that happen.

Forests for Climate is a landmark proposal for an international funding mechanism to protect tropical forests. Under this initiative, developing countries with tropical forests can make commitments to protecting their forests in exchange for the opportunity to receive funding for capacity-building efforts and national-level reductions in deforestation emissions. This provides a strong incentive for developing countries to continually improve their forest protection programs.

Take Action for a Deforestation-Free Future

Raise your voice. Tell corporations to stop endangering our forests.

If you’re ready to join the movement for a deforestation-free future, start by wielding your consumer power:

  • Make sure that the forest-derived products you buy are made from 100 percent post-consumer content materials.
  • Buy from companies that have a commitment to reducing deforestation through an environmentally friendly purchasing policy.
  • If you are buying products made from virgin forest fiber, make sure that it bears a seal from a credible forestry certification system, like the Forest Stewardship Council.
  • Ask questions about how the products you buy impact the forests.
  • Educate your friends, family, and community about how our everyday actions can impact forests thousands of miles away.

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