Protection of Roadfree areas

Save Earth's
last wild places

Road building threatens our forests, natural habitats and the people who depend on them.

With your help, we can keep wilderness RoadFree.

Watch the film

© Kemal Jufri / © Greenpeace
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It takes just one road to destroy a forest

95% of forest loss occurs within 50 km of a road.

From the Amazon to Indonesian and Congo Basin forests, roads are penetrating deep into the wilderness.

Roads fragment natural habitats, degrade forest ecosystems, and put local communities and wildlife at risk.

How can I help?

Join the RoadFree campaign


Keep it RoadFree: our initiatives

The international community is engaged in a race to halt biodiversity loss and reduce carbon emissions caused by deforestation. Funding for environmental protection is currently scarce; yet keeping wild areas free of roads is a remarkably cost-efficient way of protecting biodiversity and keeping the planet cool, and is an antidote to slow political decision making. RoadFree brings together environmental experts and partners who are working to keep wild places roadfree.

Check Road Alert

© Karla Gachet / Panos / Greenpeace
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Road Alert

Road Alert reports on destructive roadbuilding projects cutting through intact forests worldwide, and gathers individuals and groups acting to keep these wild places road free. Learn from their stories.

RoadFree news

A collection of updates from the RoadFree campaign as well as a selection of global news articles covering roadbuilding stories in the context of forest protection.

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    When roads produce isolation

    May 19 2014

    At first, logging companies build roads to access concessions. They bring equipment, goods and villagers start using these access roads. But what happens once the logging companies are gone? In Sarawak forest, Malaysia, shorty after logging operations ceased, "the trip [to the next village] used to take four hours; today it takes nine".

    Read more in Inside Story:
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    Much more attention needs to be given to forest degradation

    April 01 2014

    Mongabay continues with its series of interviews and asks forest experts what is the next big idea in forest conservation. For Philip Fearnside, one of the world´s most-cited scientist in the area of sustainable development: "Much more attention needs to be given to forest degradation, as by logging, fires and edge effects. Almost everyone has been concentrating on outright deforestation instead."

    Read full interview on Mongabay
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    Call To Keep Intact Forests Free Of Roads

    March 20 2014

    BRUSSELS, 20 March 2014 – On the eve of the 2nd International Day of Forests on Friday, March 21st, scientists join MEP Kriton Arsenis in calling for an urgent response to the threats from road development to the world’s last intact primary forests.

    Read the full press release in our press section
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    Drug trafficking opens roads to deforestation

    February 06 2014

    We already know that there’s a connection between coca growing and deforestation. But now, a new article published in Science explains how North-America's militarised drug policies have lead to drug traffickers moving deeper into Central and South American forests, where clandestine roadbuilding and money laundering generates further impacts to both the forest and its inhabitants.

    Read more on Science Daily

    Brazil and the Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America, IIRSA

    January 21 2014

    The more economies depend on trade, the more roads are built and threathen natural habitats. The Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA), in which Brazil is major player, is no exemption.

    Read more
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    The destructive effects of infrastructure

    January 14 2014

    Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reports on the impact that roads and infrastructure have on the environment and on local people living nearby. The writer of this thorough article also touches upon ways to develop better methods for spatial planning and alternatives to roads (article in Dutch).

    Read more
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    Violent clashes between communities living on Trans-Amazonica highway (BR230)

    January 13 2014

    At 4,000km long, the so-called "road to progress” has been source of conflict between the communities living along it since it was built in the early 70s. Recently, violent clashes have broken out between Teharim native Indians and non-indigenous settlers. The turmoil is fuelled by the lack of compensation for the appropriation of the Tenharim land in order to construct the road.

    Read more on The Independent
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    Concerns over infrastructure plans to link South American countries

    December 26 2013

    The planned US$130-billion network of infrastructure projects, known as IIRSA, Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America, aimed to link South America's economies has so far failed to respect indigenous peoples and environmental laws.

    Read more on The Guardian
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    UNEarth talks about RoadFree

    December 20 2013

    The RoadFree Initiative offers a path to protect forests, reduce emissions, and monitor REDD+ progress

    Read more on UNEarth news
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    The implications of the REDD+ package for roadfree forests

    December 18 2013

    The rules governing UN REDD+ programme were agreed at last month’s UN climate talks in Warsaw. We have identified several opportunities for the future of roadfree forests in the agreed REDD+ package.

    Read more
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    Roads being secretly built at the core of Yasuni National Park in Ecuador

    December 16 2013

    Images taken by National Geographic photographers while reporting on the stunning biodiversity in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador, show that oil companies have been secretly building roads at the heart of the park.

    Read more on Mongabay
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    Symposium on the Impacts of roads and infrastructure on ecosystems, a crisis for global biodiversity

    December 12 2013

    December 16: RoadFree Initiative joins top experts on road-building impacts during this one day symposium in Utrecht (The Netherlands). Library Utrecht University, Boothzaal, Heidelberglaan 3.

    Read more
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    RoadFree COP 19 side event: Get REDD+ Right by Keeping Forests Free of Roads

    November 19 2013

    This COP19 side event aims at putting the protection of roadfree areas at the forefront of international efforts to halt deforestation. The presentations will focus on recent findings related to roadbuilding impacts on deforestation and forest degradation...

    read more on our press section
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    Brazil tribe plagued by one of the highest suicide rates in the world

    November 04 2013

    Land losses blamed as study shows Guarani-Kaiowá are 34 times more likely to kill themselves than Brazil's national average.

    Read more on the Guardian
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    50,000 km of roads built across Brazilian Amazon in 3 years

    October 29 2013

    Roads are rapidly expanding across the Brazilian Amazon opening up once remote rainforests to loggers, miners, ranchers, farmers, and land speculators, finds a new study published in the journal Regional Environmental.

    Read more on Mongabay
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    European Parliament backs the protection of roadfree areas

    October 23 2013

    The European Parliament agrees to raise the issue of roadbuilding in intact forests at the UN Climate Change Conference to be held next month in Warsaw (Poland); it calls on parties to use the existence of roads in forest areas as an early negative performance indicator of REDD+ projects, and to prioritise the allocation of REDD+ funds towards road free forests...

    Read the full press release in our press section
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    M11 highway between Moscow and Saint-Petersburg: bribery allegations

    October 03 2013

    France looks into bribery allegations against Vinci Russian unit

    Read more on Reuters
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    RoadFree at WILD10 World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca

    October 02 2013

    On October 6th and 7th, RoadFree will be present at the 10th World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca to celebrate and debate on the world's wildernesses

    Read more
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    Report links rates in forest fragmentation to speed of mammal extinction

    September 26 2013

    A man-made reservoir in Thailand has given biologists the opportunity to measure the speed of mammal extinctions and it happens fast!

    Read more on New York Times

Who we are

RoadFree aims to halt the expansion of roads into Earth's last wild places.

RoadFree was initiated in 2012 by Member of the European Parliament Kriton Arsenis. It functions as a platform to facilitate synergies between citizen movements, NGOs and institutions who have chosen cost-efficient solutions to protect the environment.

We invite you to be a part of the effort.

With thanks to…

  • Google
  • Greenpeace
  • Society for Conservation Biology
  • Conservation International