July 8, 2015

Deforestation Fronts: Fighting to save our Remaining Rainforest

Without immediate action, 170 million hectares of at-risk forest will be destroyed in the next 15 years.

Rainforest canopy

Cool Earth often talks about the ‘arc of deforestation’. We protect areas where the forest is most at-risk from logging, creating a shield for millions of acres of further forest.

But what do we mean by ‘at-risk’ forest?

Recent research has produced some scary statistics. Ten areas of tropical rainforest have been named as  “deforestation fronts”. The stark warning is that if no action is taken, these areas will account for 80% of forest loss globally by 2030.

These deforestation fronts include areas in the Amazon, Borneo, the Congo Basin, East Africa, Western Australia, and Papua New Guinea.

Not only are these places some of the most bio-diverse, they are also home to millions of people. Their loss would not only be life changing for them, it would cause dangerous climate change and economic impacts, affecting everyone on the planet.

So we’ve got just 15 years to stop 170 million hectares of forest being destroyed. It sounds impossible. But we don’t think it is.


By working on the very edge of the deforestation front, and with partner villages linking together with their neighbours, we can reduce the amount that needs to be actively protected by 90%. Because in the areas where we work, for every acre protected within a project, another 9 are shielded behind it, immune to the loggers.

We can’t do it alone. But if our projects continue to grow, more governments in rainforest regions will see our success and adopt our model of enabling community protection in the most at-risk ‘fronts’ of deforestation. With the shield our linked partner communities make, we’d be looking at having to save 17 million hectares of rainforest rather than 170. It’s still a vast number, but with your help it’s achievable.


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