29 July 2023


Add your voice today to save our trees and our future.

Every one of us needs trees. From producing oxygen to improving our health, to providing shade, shelter, nutritious foods and life-saving medicines, we all rely on trees to survive. But unless forests are protected, they face threats of deforestation, which has catastrophic consequences for our well-being, communities, wildlife and the planet.

What is deforestation?

Deforestation is when trees, woodland and forests are bulldozed from land that hasn’t been cleared before. The most significant cause of deforestation globally is agriculture, with farmers clearing land to make space for cattle and sheep to graze or for crops.

The other leading causes of deforestation include construction, which sees forests replaced by roads, buildings and other forms of urban development; the mining industry, with land bulldozed to make way for excavation pits and access roads; and logging, with trees turned into timber and paper.

How much deforestation is Australia responsible for?

Sadly, Australia has the highest rate of deforestation in the developed world. It’s heartbreaking to know that half of our incredible and unique forests have been cleared in the last two centuries. And we’re still losing trees by the minute. More than 135,000 trees are bulldozed on our shores every day, adding up to over 300,000 hectares of native forests, and woodlands bulldozed a year. That’s 57 times the area of Sydney Harbour destroyed every 365 days!

But it’s not only forests that we lose. Trees are so important in providing vital food and homes for our unique Aussie wildlife. In fact, it’s estimated that 700 threatened animal species across Australia depend on forests in some way. Many of our iconic animals, like koalas, possums, fruit bats and birds, rely on trees for food and also use them for shelter by building their homes in branches and tree hollows. Some of these tree hollows can take as long as 250 years to form. With one tree bulldozed in Australia every second, that’s tens of millions of our native animals killed or left homeless.

Now is the time to act and turn this around. Australia desperately needs to lead by example and protect and restore our forests. You can help make a difference - sign the petition and show your support to save our trees and our future.

Why does deforestation happen in Australia?

The leading causes of deforestation in Australia are agriculture, mining, and urban development, but the amounts vary from state to state.

The greatest percentage of deforestation in Australia happens in Queensland, and sadly, less than half of the forests there still remain. This is primarily because of beef production and agriculture and means many koalas have lost their homes and their lives. In Western Australia, most deforestation is caused by mining, urban development and agriculture. Worryingly, there’s also a significant amount of illegal bulldozing in the state. And in New South Wales, just 36% of the state’s forests and woodlands remain, but agriculture and logging continue to drive even more deforestation.

What impact is deforestation having on our climate?

Trees are champions when it comes to multitasking. As well as providing food and shelter for wildlife, they are our natural resources and do amazing things for us every day. They produce the oxygen we breathe and are our allies when it comes to fighting climate change. They capture carbon from the air and lock it away, keeping it out of the atmosphere where it can lead to rising temperatures and disasters like fires and floods. Older trees are even better at this than young saplings. Australian forests alone store 22 billion tonnes of carbon in their trunks, leaves and roots. That’s the same as the annual emissions of 4.7 billion cars.

Just the act of bulldozing Australian forests releases approximately 24 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere each year. That’s the equivalent of 1,400 return flights from Melbourne to London.

How can you help stop deforestation?

There are so many impactful ways you can protect and restore our forests to help trees, wildlife and our planet. As a consumer, you can make sustainable choices when you shop for meat. You can buy recycled, pre-loved furniture and choose FSC-certified products that come from responsibly managed land or recycled sources. You can also make your voice heard by asking supermarkets and retailers only to sell products that do not cause deforestation.

Sign the petition today to email your government to demand action and save our trees and save our future.

Read more suggestions to take action with our 10 ways to save our native trees.

Together, we can make Australia a world leader in protecting and restoring trees.