Causes of Deforestation • Forests


Worldwide, deforestation and conversion of land accounts for nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The destruction and degradation of tropical rainforests driven by industrial agriculture is linked to human rights abuses, displacement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and destruction of critical species habitat. Intact forests are foundational to the cultures, livelihoods and spiritual well-being of hundreds of millions of people; they regulate the climate locally and globally; and they are the planet’s immune system, as rich biodiversity and dynamic, living ecosystems guard against the release of pandemic diseases.

Consequently, deforestation is at the center of some of the planet’s most urgent, overlapping crises: Increasingly intense natural disasters, unprecedented species loss, and an epidemic of violence against land and environmental defenders. There is no way to address the climate crisis without protecting the world’s last standing forests. Friends of the Earth’s International Forests program works to address the root causes of forest destruction and the marginalization of forest-dwelling communities. Our campaign on land grabs, forests & finance pressures the world’s largest financial institutions to “defund deforestation;” advances legislative and regulatory solutions; and seeks to amplify the voices and struggles of frontline environmental human rights defenders.

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  • Climate & Energy Justice Save our public lands from oil and gas drilling!
Impact Stories See All
Fighting for Corporate Responsibility
Fighting for Corporate Responsibility

After years of pressure from environmental activists, Proctor & Gamble shareholders took a vital step towards protecting our forests.

A Victory for Forests: Cargill Cuts Ties with Palm Oil Producer
A Victory for Forests: Cargill Cuts Ties with Palm Oil Producer

Friends of the Earth and our allies have pushed businesses and corporations to cut ties with abusive and destructive palm oil companies.

Nestlé Cuts Ties With Conflict Palm Oil
Nestlé Cuts Ties With Conflict Palm Oil

More than 40,000 Friends of the Earth members signed our petition urging Nestlé to cut ties with REPSA. And Nestlé responded.

Latest News See All
PepsiCo, FrieslandCampina suspend palm oil sourcing from rogue company over human rights violations

Last week, PepsiCo and FrieslandCampina confirmed they have suspended sourcing from Astra Agro Lestari (AAL) following investigations into environmental and human rights violations by the palm oil company in Central and West Sulawesi, Indonesia. 

Major palm oil company withdraws from anti-deforestation initiative

Amsterdam, Duazon, Washington - Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), one of the world’s largest palm oil producers, has withdrawn from the High Carbon Stock Approach Group, (HCSA Group). HCSA Group is a sustainability watchdog and standard-setting body that works to prevent deforestation. This decision follows the company’s failure to adequately respond to…

Statement on Manuel Terán’s killing

Friends of the Earth U.S. expresses our solidarity with those outraged and in mourning at the police killing of Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán, while protecting the South River Forest from logging and exploitation.

Latest Blog Posts See All
Will consumer goods companies ensure justice for communities that have been robbed of their lands and livelihoods?
Will consumer goods companies ensure justice for communities that have been robbed of their lands and livelihoods?

If a destructive palm oil company is suspended by consumer goods giants for land grabbing and human right abuses, will we finally get our land back?

Sowing the Seeds of a Tropical Village Economy in the Mountains of Sumatra

This piece is a set of reflections from Jeff Conant, International Forests Program Director, during a recent trip to Indonesia to meet with local village communities.

[caption id="attachment_1367" align="alignnone" width="535"] Villager displaying petai bean pods in Air Pahlawan // Photo Courtesy of Jeff Conant[/caption]

The village of…

Bunge’s Silent Conquest and the Corporate Climate Con

The agribusiness giant Bunge is engaging in an egregious corporate climate con – and shareholders should take note.

Resources See All
  • NY Tropical Deforestation-Free Procurement Act fact sheet
  • Brief to Procter & Gamble Shareholders
  • Open Letter on Agra Astari Lestari
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