There are some laws in place on illegal logging and such, but nothing concrete as far as eliminating deforestation. Though our overall need for lumber and such has decreased in the way of going “paperless” in many industries, wood is still used in high quantities around the world. Forest advocacy groups will have to know the subject backwards and forwards, with statistics and scientists to boot to convince Congress in the USA and other governments of the direness of the situation. You will have to circumvent the lobbyists in their pleas as well, which is not easy, considering all the money and influence they have to throw around.
It is unlikely that there will ever be a law that completely prohibits deforestation. As heliosman points out, industry relies on tree harvesting for a variety of purposes. Another one, particularly highlighted by deforestation in the Amazon region, is tree removal for agriculture.
More unfortunate, however, is the fact that money talks. Quite loudly. At this moment, closer to home (for the First World, and Americans in particular), a Spanish wine conglomerate (Artesa) plans on clearcutting over 150 acres of redwood forest to plant vineyards in northern Sonoma County, California. You can read up on the issue here. Redwoods are the heart of a unique system, growing in only a few places in the world. Yet Artesa has somehow dodged California policy, and activist groups (including the Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity) continue to try to prevent the deforestation. Help out the cause here!
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