We all depend on rainforests.

The rainforests of Indonesia, the Amazon, and the Congo Basin are essential to all life on Earth: they provide us with the air we breathe and the water we drink. Rainforests are also home to the majority of land-based biodiversity — plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. For millions of local and Indigenous people, forests are their homes and livelihoods. In managing their forests, they ensure the survival of their communities and their cultures.

Rainforests are one of our best lines of defense against climate chaos: they help regulate global temperatures and weather patterns, and they absorb massive amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and keep it safely stored. Rainforests help provide the entire world with clean air, clean water, and a stable climate, all for free.

That’s why it’s so crucial that we Keep Forests Standing.

Rainforests, communities and climate are under attack.

Massive corporate greed is driving deforestation around the world — for cheap palm oil, soy, beef, pulp and paper, timber, and cocoa — to make the products that line our store shelves. That’s right, massive global corporations are turning a quick profit from deforestation and leaving behind lasting devastation.

As forests fall, there’s an incredibly high human cost. Rainforests are being stolen from Indigenous communities, who have cared for them for millennia, in massive land grabs and then destroyed for commodity production. Communities face intimidation tactics and outright violence — all too often deadly — as they resist the corporate take-over. 

Some of the most biodiverse forests in the world are being cleared away and turned into monocropped, agribusiness plantations where there are high rates of child labor, human trafficking, and modern day slavery.
Workers are exploited, exposed to toxic pesticides, and paid poverty wages. Annual burning — the cheapest way to clear more forests and peatlands for large-scale production — creates horrible pollution that blankets whole countries in toxic haze and releases massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. 

If tropical deforestation were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world, only behind China and the United States. And emissions from deforestation are only getting worse, having more than doubled in the last few years. If tropical deforestation continues at the current rate, a climate-stable future will be all but impossible.

And as deforestation increases, so do the roads, poaching and habitat loss that bring wildlife to the brink of extinction, and sets up the conditions for pandemic-level diseases.  

Who drives the destruction? Profits vs. Rainforests

Our threatened climate, forests, and communities face a common culprit: the short-term profit of massive corporations. That’s right, lasting damage at a global level is being driven by short-term gains.

So who is benefitting from rainforest destruction? Seventeen of the most influential corporations — everyday brands and banks you recognize — are fueling deforestation and the violation of human rights.

Massive global brands like Mars, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nissin Foods, Kao, Ferrero, Colgate-Palmolive, and PepsiCo are driving the demand for cheap, rainforest-destroying commodities like palm oil, pulp and paper, beef, soy, and cocoa. Meanwhile, some of the world’s biggest banks are betting against people and the planet by investing billions into both the brands providing the demand and the big Agribusiness companies burning and bulldozing rainforests to provide the direct supply of these commodities. Banks like Japan’s MUFG (Union Bank in the U.S.), Indonesia’s BNI, Malaysia’s CIMB, China’s ICBC, Singapore’s DBS, the Netherlands’ ABN Amro, and JPMorgan Chase are some of the worst offenders.

Unchecked corporate greed ignores laws, regulations, and moral imperative, for maximum profit. We are all left to pay the incredibly high price. But we say, No More! Corporations must be held accountable for their impact on rainforests, communities, and our global climate.

These corporations are vulnerable to pressure from YOU.

This is where we — you and the rest of our network — come in. These corporations are vulnerable to market pressure and are fiercely protective of their brands’ reputations. As consumers, we have the ability to change industry practices. We have the power to hold companies accountable for their actions.

By harnessing our collective power, RAN and our allies have run successful campaigns against corporations for over 35 years.

We’ve shown, time and again, that people power is stronger than corporate power.

We’re following the money, calling out the most influential corporations, and demanding that they cut deforestation out of their supply chains and respect human rights. Because to keep forests standing, we must support the most effective forest defenders in the world: strong, organized local and Indigenous communities. Rainforests are our last, best line of defense against climate chaos, and these communities are our collective global defenders too.

It’s critical that we hold corporations accountable to end the terrible cycle of rainforest destruction and human rights abuses. Our survival — yours and mine — depends on keeping forests standing. Join us in the fight of our lives!