Deforestation doesn’t just threaten our climate, it threatens the livelihoods of 1.6 billion people that rely on forests for food and economic activity. Forests also serve as habitats to rare and undiscovered animal and plant species and play a key role in providing water and preventing flooding and erosion.
Ending deforestation and protecting forests will not only preserve biodiversity and defend the rights of forest communities, it is also one of the quickest and cost effective ways of curbing global warming. Greenpeace is campaigning for zero deforestation, globally, by 2020.
Drivers of Deforestation
Drivers of deforestation vary from region to region-below are examples of human activity driving the destruction of the world’s natural forests.
Agri-business- the largest driver of deforestation, in which vast areas of natural forest are burned or cleared in order to raise cattle or grow cash mono crops like palm oil and soy. Palm oil and soy are used in a wide array of products ranging from toothpaste, chocolate, animal feed and cosmetics.
Industrial logging for timber, pulp and wood fiber to create building materials and consumer products like office paper, tissue, books, magazines and packaging.
Mining for metals such as gold, copper, or aluminum clears large tracts of natural forests and contaminate forest eco-systems with their runoff.
Road Building through forests fragments the landscape, endangers wildlife habitat and provides access points for illegal loggers and other business operations that encroach into the forest.
Hydroelectric dams flood upstream