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1 Second = 1 Dead

Every second a native animal is killed by deforestation. Together we can stop this. Donate now.

Every second counts

The primary cause of this globally-significant destruction is bulldozing to create new pastures for beef cattle.

Right now, the beef industry is fuelling wildlife destruction in Australia, and McDonald’s is one of the biggest beef purchasers. McDonald’s is falling short on the deforestation front and lacks clear and transparent policies. The stakes are high, and the time for action is now.

Today, you can help stop it.

The impact of Greenpeace donors

For 50 years, Greenpeace has protected our planet by challenging the fossil fuel industry, transitioning Australia to renewable energy, safeguarding oceans and forests, and defending democracy through non-violent action. Our campaigns are 100% funded by individuals like you.

Save my future

The beef industry is the number 1 driver of deforestation in Australia. While big corporations like Coles, Woolworths and McDonald’s keep buying their beef from well-known deforestation hotspots, the carnage will continue. We need these big, profit-hungry businesses to commit to buying only beef without bulldozers.

With your help, we can take extinction out of the supply chain.

Dead Koala in plastic wrapping. An imagined product of deforestation.

Image digitally produced

Deforestation for cattle

What's our beef with McDonald's?

McDonald's is falling short on the deforestation front and lacks clear and transparent policies. The stakes are high, and the time for action is now. We demand McDonald’s rise to the occasion by bringing in rigorous traceability measures and a firm commitment to eliminate deforestation from their supply chain. Together, let's hold the industry accountable and safeguard our precious forests for future generations.

The lives at stake

  • Koala Endangered
    Common name: Koala
    In February 2022, the koala was listed as Endangered in QLD, NSW and ACT under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. In 2020, a NSW parliamentary report found that if stronger environmental laws are not introduced, koalas will become extinct in NSW by 2050. The survival of this iconic species depends on a transition away from deforestation.
  • Wombat Critically Endangered
    Common name: Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat
    The Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat is one of the world’s most critically endangered species, and Queensland’s most endangered mammal. This creature once existed in a broad range of habitat across three eastern mainland states. Now, its population is restricted to only two sites in Queensland. There are currently only 315 Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats left on the planet.
  • Mahogany Glider Endangered
    Common name: Mahogany Glider
    Mahogany gliders are restricted to the southern Wet Tropics of north Queensland. They depend on open forest or woodland to move freely. Over 80% of the Mahogany gliders’ habitat has been cleared for sugar cane, plantation pine, bananas and cattle. It is now one of Australia’s most threatened mammals, with only around 1,500 left in the wild.
  • Spotted Tail Quoll Endangered
    Common name: Spotted-tail Quoll, Tiger Quoll
    The largest native carnivore left on the mainland, the Spotted-tail Quoll is the closest surviving relative to the Tasmanian Tiger.  Since colonisation, logging, land-clearing, bushfires and introduced species have seen quoll populations decline. Researchers estimate that quoll numbers have reduced by 50-90% on the Australian mainland. There are estimated to be around 14,000 left in the wild.

Frequently asked questions about deforestation

What is Greenpeace asking corporations to do on deforestation?

What is Greenpeace asking corporations to do on deforestation?

Greenpeace is asking corporations operating in Australia to commit to no deforestation or destruction of other natural ecosystems in the key products they produce or sell by the end of 2025 at the latest.

In particular we are asking corporations to prioritise ensuring the beef they produce or buy does not come from cattle operations where forests and natural ecosystems have been recently destroyed (since 2020). This is because beef is the number one driver of deforestation in Australia so tackling this issue quickly will have a big positive impact for our forests.

Well-known corporations such as McDonalds, Woolworths and Coles have a big role to play here so we are asking them to step up and help protect our forests and wildlife by refusing beef produced from deforestation.

How does Greenpeace define deforestation in Australia?

How does Greenpeace define deforestation in Australia?

Deforestation is the destruction of natural forest, including both never-before bulldozed forest and healthy regenerating or fully regenerated forest.

Greenpeace uses the definition of deforestation set out by a globally-recognised ethical supply chain organisation called the Accountability Framework Initiative. Major global sustainability and climate initiatives such as the Science-Based Targets Initiative also use this same framework.

Importantly, our asks of the Australian government and corporations is to halt both deforestation and the destruction of other non-forest natural ecosystems. The technical term used by the Accountability Framework Initiative to cover destruction of all ecosystem types is “conversion”. So really what we are asking for is for no more conversion of natural ecosystems, including no more deforestation of forests. It’s just that deforestation is far more understood by the public so we use this term to communicate the problem!

What are the major drivers of deforestation in Australia?

What are the major drivers of deforestation in Australia?

Cattle grazing for beef production is the leading cause of deforestation in Australia as forests and bushland are bulldozed to make way for vast cow paddocks. Around 70% of deforestation in Queensland – the hotspot in Australia – is for beef.

Sheep grazing is another driver, followed by logging to make paper and wood products. Mining, infrastructure and housing development are other drivers. While the local impacts of these developments can be severe, deforestation for beef dwarves all others in terms of the area of forest destroyed annually.

Why is protecting regenerated forest so important?

Why is protecting regenerated forest so important?

Much of the deforestation occurring in Australia is of regenerating or fully regenerated forest. While a never-before bulldozed forest will always be the best of the best, these recovering forests also have important values. They are slowly bringing back wildlife, stablising soils, and drawing down carbon out of the atmosphere. Allowing the bulldozers to destroy this regeneration kills the animals that have returned and sets back the clock for a long recovery once again.

It must be stressed that many types of forests are unable to recover at all following destruction by bulldozers and replacement with agricultural or other land uses. Where forests are sometimes able to regenerate, such as some Acacia species forests in Queensland, this is no excuse to start or continue bulldozing as the cumulative impacts on wildlife and the land are immense. Restoring any forest to a pre-bulldozed state is also very difficult and can take many decades, sometimes hundreds of years.

What role do farmers play in this issue?

What role do farmers play in this issue?

Our Aussie farmers need to be fully supported to look after the land and protect and restore forests. This includes through government funds such as Queensland’s $500 million Land Restoration Fund and by the big corporations like McDonald’s, Woolworths and Coles who can use their vast profits to work with and support farmers to the right thing and pay a fair price for sustainable products.

Really it’s the large corporations like McDonald’s, Coles and Woolworths that need to act. They purchase the majority of beef domestically and make millions of dollars in profits and they need to take action to guarantee their products are not contributing to the destruction of Australian forests and wildlife.

Currently this is hidden from consumers, who are unaware that the beef on supermarket shelves or in their Big Mac could be contributing to the deaths of millions of native animals every year. It is imperative that solutions to this crisis are supported by companies linked to, or within, the Australian beef industry who can drive change.

What is Greenpeace asking the Federal Government to do on deforestation?

What is Greenpeace asking the Federal Government to do on deforestation?

This year the Australian government will face a huge test — a once-in-a-generation reform of our national environment law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Without strong laws that genuinely protect and restore nature, the destruction of wildlife and forests will continue and countless more native animals will face extinction.

Stronger legislation to safeguard our environment is a win for everyone — so Greenpeace is urging the government to introduce the ambitious reforms needed to protect nature and to ensure a safe, liveable climate for all Australians.

The reforms must address Australia’s rampant deforestation, particularly from the beef and logging industries. This will be a key test and Greenpeace and our supporters will be pushing hard to make sure this happens.

Australia Deforestation Map

Help make the beef industry deforestation free.

If the beef industry were to go deforestation-free, it would be the single biggest step towards our ambitious goal of making Australia free from deforestation by the end of 2025.

With supporters like you beside us, Greenpeace has pioneered successful campaigns targeting companies involved in energy, logging, palm oil and soy supply chains.

The beef supply chain in Australia has never faced a full-scale NGO public campaign before. With you beside us, we know we can win this fight too.

With your support, Greenpeace can:

  • Demand that McDonald’s, Coles and Woolworths only purchase beef without bulldozers
  • Pressure the beef industry to commit to completely deforestation free production
  • Reveal the true impact of deforestation on our native wildlife
  • Drive political will to close loopholes allowing for the death and destruction in our forests
Help us raise the alarm on Australia’s destructive beef industry. Every second counts.