Tropical Forests

Deforestation is a major cause of global warming and habitat loss, and many common consumer products contribute to it. Our experts explain how UCS is fighting deforestation—and how you can help.


Subscribe to our Tropical Forests feed

Latest Tropical Forests Posts

In the Cloud of Haze, a Silver Lining?

, analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

The haze in Southeast Asia these past couple of months has been truly unimaginable. Burning vegetation and peatlands has been devastating for the health of millions of people, for the global climate, for regional economies, and for education. The scale of this crisis became impossible to ignore. And recently, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), has issued strong instructions which if implemented, would help to avoid future disasters of this kind. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Who’s Responsible for Palm Oil Deforestation—Small Farmers or Big Companies?

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

In recent days, with massive fires in Southeast Asia again creating the dangerous haze that endangers the health and lives of millions, we’ve seen the recurrence of the claim that fires and deforestation are caused by small farmers, not big companies and their plantations. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

There Would Be No Smoke If There Were No Fires

Sarah Henderson, PhD
, , UCS

Right now Indonesian farmers are burning hundreds of thousands of hectares of the oldest rainforests on earth to clear land for plantation crops. The resulting smoke has covered Southeast Asia in a thick haze, affecting the health of hundreds of millions of people. This happens every year, which is incredibly frustrating because the Indonesian government made slash-and-burn agriculture largely illegal in 2001, following the severe regional haze it generated 1997-1998. On paper those laws were strengthened in 2009 and again 2014, but in actuality the 2015-2016 season is likely to be the worst on record.

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Indonesia on Track to Have the Worst Fire Season Since 1997

Miriam Marlier, Columbia University and University of California, Los Angeles; Guido van der Werf, VU University Amsterdam; David Gaveau, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR); Robert Field, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Allan Spessa, The Open University
, , UCS

Much of western Indonesia is currently undergoing massive fires, producing enormous amounts of smoke-haze, and disrupting large parts of society in the region. This is unlikely to be ‘normal’ seasonal burning; it could rank among the worst fire seasons on record in Indonesia, with frequent and larger fires this year than in previous years. The burning will likely last for at least another month.

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

4 Reasons to Pay Attention to the Deadly Haze in Southeast Asia this Year

, analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

Residents in Southeast Asia are currently being subjected to a heavy blanket of smoke and haze spreading across the region. The haze originates in large part from the burning of forests and peat soils in order to prepare land for agriculture, such as palm oil. But reading news reports and even seeing pictures cannot always convey the daily experience in the way that first-hand accounts can. Read more >

Bookmark and Share