Where can I find information about deforestation?

Image: brow firewood log by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash.

Entry last updated: 22/12/20


Forests are a vital part of life on earth, and many animals and people rely on forests to survive. Deforestation is when forests are cleared or thinned out, usually by people so they can use the land for something else, such as farmland, or to use the wood. The cutting down of forests is an issue that impacts the environment in many different ways.

Epic resources

EPIC is a collection of reliable databases that cover lots of different topics, including deforestation. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

Britannica School

This is a very good database to start with because it covers so many topics, like an encyclopedia. You will find a good introduction to deforestation here.

  • Choose your level. We suggest starting with Middle, as you can change your level later if you need more or less information.
  • Enter the keyword 'deforestation' into the search box.
  • The article deforestation is about how this happens, and the impact it has on places like the Amazon Rainforests.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Environmental Studies (Gale In Context)

This database has a lot of information specific to the environment, like deforestation.

  • Select the tab called Browse Issues and choose Forests and Deforestation to find a range of videos, audio, articles, images and more on this topic.
  • Other useful topics such as Erosion or Habitat loss are about the impact of deforestation.
  • You can also search for keywords like 'deforestation rates' or 'deforestation and climate change.'
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg [deforestation]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

Opposing Viewpoints (Gale In Context)

As the global population of Earth grows, people need more resources like land to farm or live on, and wood to build with. Deforestation, which helps to produce these resources, is also bad for the environment. This database will provide you with information for both sides of the argument.

  • Choose Browse Issues and look down the page for Deforestation to read Featured viewpoints and Viewpoints to understand opposing debates on this issue.
  • Scroll down the page to Related topics and select Mass Extinctions and Endangered Species to read how these topics are connected to deforestation.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!

General websites

Have a look through these websites to find out more about the issues caused by deforestation, such as erosion, habitat loss, and global warming.

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is an international conservation organisation. One of their goals is to conserve the world's forests and its ecosystems.

Tips: Some websites ask us to donate or adopt something. It’s best to focus on the information we’re looking for. If you want to make donations you should always discuss it with a parent or your school first.

Encyclopedia of the Earth

This website has information about all things related to the natural world, including biodiversity, ecology, climate change, and pollution. Each article has details about the author, editor, when it was published and updated.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

National Geographic Education

This is a section of the National Geographic website. It allows search for different types of resources by subject and grade level. It includes interactive mapping, multimedia content on special and current topics.

New Zealand websites

Check out these websites for information about how deforestation affects the environment and economy in New Zealand.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • From the homepage, select the Section on The Bush.
  • From here there are two different stories to look at. The first is Uses of the bush which includes information about Logging native forests.
  • Or look at Conservation which includes information about Human effects on the environment.
  • You can also use keywords to search the site and then filter your results in different ways eg use the keyword 'deforestation' and filter your results to Images and Media to find this interactive map of Deforestation in New Zealand.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

Science Learning Hub

This website has a large selection of science articles, activities and videos for intermediate and secondary students. We like this website because it was created by the University of Waikato and Curious Minds (NZ).

  • You can search by topic, concept or by typing 'deforestation' into the search feature.
  • Read the article on Deforestation to understand a little about its history and impact in New Zealand.


Have a look at some of these books, or ask your school or local librarian to help you find more!

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