About Fern

The world’s fast-dwindling forests are being destroyed in a multitude of ways: cleared for mining, invaded for agriculture plantations, degraded by logging, drowned by reservoirs and subdivided by roads and pipelines, among others.

The exact threats vary with time and place. But in each case, the root causes are unjust power structures that promote the short-term interests of elites over the long-term needs of communities that use and live in the forests, and which ignore the ecological limits of the planet. Fern’s purpose, as a Europe-based NGO, is to address these root causes from a European perspective. As a major aid donor, investor and importer of commodities derived from forests, the European Union has a significant impact on forests and forest communities. But the EU also has concerned citizens and a well-developed mandate for protecting human rights and the environment. Fern believes its democratic institutions can be harnessed to protect forests and improve the lives of forest communities worldwide.

For this reason, Fern’s advocacy is based on researching forest governance, on providing information that can generate practical solutions to governance failure, and on holding EU institutions and Member States to account. Fern believes in giving a voice to the people who are best placed to protect the world’s disappearing forest resources – those who use, live in and derive their livelihoods from the forests. Through its partnerships and other means, Fern promotes their rights and participation in decisions that affect them. But even the strongest voices cannot succeed alone. Real lasting change most often happens when individuals, communities and civil society groups work together towards a common goal. So Fern focuses on building networks and coalitions, both within and outside the EU, that can work towards a common purpose -- making the EU work for forests and forest communities in the interests of a shared planet.

Disclaimer: The data and information gathered to produce the maps contained within the report have been done so competently, with diligence and care but no explicit warranty is provided as to their accuracy or effectiveness. This is especially true where data or information come from third parties. The data and maps have been prepared for use by the commissioning party. No liability is accepted by GIS and Mapping Services for any inappropriate use of data or map outputs in this report or any other subsequent works

Maps produced by:
Dr. Jess Neumann
GIS & Mapping Services


A wide spectrum of NGOs and others have helped us source, or shared with us, the coal mining data and other information that is the foundation of this report.

We would like to express our gratitude to: Ted Nace at CoalSwarm, Adam Walters at Energy and Resource Insights, Ashish Fernandes and Nandikesh Sivalingam at Greenpeace India, Rick Laird, Trusha Reddy at Earthlife Africa, Jeff Deal and Matt Wasson at Appalachian Voices, Andy Wildenberg, Hendrik (Beggy) Siregar and Merah Johansyah at JATAM, Catalina Radulescu and Ioana Ciuta at Bankwatch Romania, Mihai Stoica, Leszek Pazderski at Greenpeace Poland, Tierra Minada, Paula Andrea Paz Garcia at Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropica (CIAT), Kevin Stone, senior adviser National Resources Canada, Jutta Kill, Dirk Jansen, Lili Fuhr, Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CAN Aotearoa), Karla Renschler at Global Forest Watch, Thomas Caspari at the International Soil Reference and Information Centre, Wageningen University, Ben Caldecott, Jean Noe Weaver and Jon Kolak at USGS, Chris Lang, Sam Lawson.

Fern would like to thank the Ford Foundation for their financial support for this work. The views and finding expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Ford Foundation.