Disappearing Forests? Actions to Save the World's Trees

By Docksai, Rick | The Futurist, September-October 2013 | Go to article overview

Disappearing Forests? Actions to Save the World's Trees


Docksai, Rick, The Futurist


Halting deforestation will require the cooperation and coordination of the world's governments, businesses, and civil society. Networks of activists are now slowing the destruction of forest areas, promoting sustainable farming and ranching practices, and restoring forest cover wherever possible. These efforts will not only benefit both human and forest well-being; but also help mitigate climate change.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

AS THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANCE ARE FELT ACROSS THE globe, Earth-conscious innovators pursue a list of technological wonders to offset our species' carbon footprint: geoengineering, alternative energy, hybrid vehicles, etc. Each techno-fix shows some potential for success, and each might have a role to play in years to come.

But let's not forget one design feat that is fully within our means to deploy here and now: more trees.

The efforts of governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations everywhere have begun to curb deforestation and bring some hitherto-destroyed forest areas back to life. As their efforts gain ground--and they can, with more support from citizens and communities worldwide--those trees will naturally reduce atmospheric carbon and boost both the planet's health and ours.

Global Forest Health Today

Brazil hit a milestone in 2012: Forest loss that year, at 4,500 square kilometers, was the lowest since 1988--and a steep drop-off from the 27,000 square kilometers of forest cover that the country lost in 2004.

Depletion of the Amazon's forest cover had been widespread in the twentieth century as Brazil developed economically: The cleared forests made way for logging, cattle ranching, and farming of cash crops such as soybeans. Then, starting in the late 1980s, the government initiated measures to halt deforestation; more recently, it committed to bringing deforestation down to less than a fifth of the 2004 level by 2020. As of 2013, it is almost 80% there.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Conservationists keep pushing for the forests' viability over the long term. Deforestation continues, even if it is drastically reduced and no longer has the tacit acceptance of government and business leaders.

"The situation is not stable yet. We have to consider we have a lot of achievements and good results, but we still have high rates of deforestation," says Luis Fernando Guedes Pinto, certification manager for IMAFLORA, a Brazilian environmental conservation nonprofit that partners with the Rainforest Alliance. "We still need many interventions that can lead to improvements in farming and forest management."

Concerns over Brazil's Amazon rain forests, which shrank by about 18% in the last century due to deforestation, have been growing steadily in Brazil and worldwide: The Amazon is home to between one-third and one-half of the world's remaining tropical forest land.

Another large share of world rainforest cover lies in Africa. Unfortunately it is in even more trouble. Impoverished African families and communities struggle to scratch out livelihoods from the land, as they have for generations, by foraging for wood to use as fuel and by clearing forests to make way for small-scale farming.

While Africans' efforts to survive are indisputably justified, the toll on the continent's natural resources is steep: Forests in Africa are being cleared nearly three times faster than the global average, according to the Forest Philanthropy Action Network (FPAN). Ghana and Nigeria each have only around 5% of the forest cover that they had 75 years ago. Particularly severe deforestation is also taking place in Liberia, Kenya, Uganda, and areas of Cameroon, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

FPAN names small-scale agriculture as a principal contributing cause. Fuel needs are another cause, since communities comb their neighboring forests for wood chips and branches that they can feed to their wood-burning stoves. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Disappearing Forests? Actions to Save the World's Trees
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.