Half the world’s forests have now disappeared and, according to the UN, a further 13 million hectares are lost every year. Even more has been converted from rich primary forest to monoculture plantations.
At the current rate of deforestation, the world’s rainforests could disappear in 100 years.
Deforestation accounts for around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is the biggest immediate threat to biodiversity.
Land grabbing occurs when land that was previously used by local communities is bought by or leased to outside investors, often multinational corporations. The land is then taken over for the production of food and agro-fuels to sell on the international market.
In some cases land grabbing by multinationals has led to serious human rights violations, as communities are forced off their land to make way for large scale plantations.
REDD stands for "reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries." It is a financial mechanism that was set up to ensure that governments, companies and forest owners in the South are compensated for not chopping down their forests. Find out more about how REDD works.
Indigenous peoples and local communities are being marginalised in the development of these schemes. Meanwhile corporations and major investors are intent on reaping huge financial rewards at the cost of local communities.
Large transnational corporations including BP, Shell and energy companies are honing in on REDD as a new business opportunity.
Read Friends of the Earth International’s latest report on REDD.