Deforestation

Deforestation of the rainforests is one of causes of global warming that the world is experiencing now.

But the worst news for conservationists was received during the first fortnight of May, 2008 when Marina Silva, Brazil’s Environment Minister and acknowledged fighter for the cause of saving the Amazon rainforests resigned from her post citing difficulties she faced in pursuing environmental agenda.


She said that she was not getting political support for protecting the rainforest against destruction.

She was known for enforcing strict standards for logging permits and licenses which upset the developers and she had to face severe pressures from various business lobbies for trying to enforce such measures.

It appears to be one more testimony for the fact that whenever there is a conflict between development and conservation, the latter is a loser.

Rich and poor countries alike have high stakes in forests and hence the subject of forestry gets into controversy from time to time.

Centuries ago, when the humans were hunter gatherers they had to live by using the trees for their various needs...

...the wood was required for cooking their meals primarily.

 Humans have made enormous progress since then, but citizens of several poor nations even now have to use wood for their cooking needs, for which they cut the trees indiscriminately unmindful of the consequences for the environment.

People of rainforest nations are poor. They are forced by circumstances to deplete the forests for their livelihood.


Some of their practices which cause destruction of forests are :

  • Slash and burn style of farming

  • Grazing their cattle etc
  • As the population of the rainforest nations went up during the past several decades, their governments had to find out ways and means of feeding them.

    One area of solution for them was the forests, which provided huge quantities of wood for them for export purposes and earning much needed income for their people.

    This gave them the chance for allowing logging by established companies. But one thing led to another and illegal logging also came up soon depleting the forests at a much faster rate.

    If such methods were not enough, the minerals below the rainforests like copper, aluminum or petroleum gave such countries a reason to go for large scale deforestation.

    But as a nation gets developed, the reasons for destruction of the forests come from different angles.

    Countries like Brazil resorted to deforestation to accommodate soybean cultivation on a large scale since they fetched better returns for them.

    As the people's income level goes up, their education level gets better and they develop higher aims to achieve in their lives.

    As they strive harder and harder for realizing such ambitions, they develop better taste for a higher standard of living.

    This longing for a better standard of living brings out several reasons and methods for forest destruction since wood from the forests is used for making stylish furnitures and countless other wood based structures for houses, offices, commercial complexes, resorts and several other constructions.

    Rich nations or poor nations...

    ...we live in an age of information explosion.

    No wonder then that there are countless news papers and magazines of mind boggling variety of subjects.

    The billions and billions of reams of paper required for such magazines are manufactured in paper mills whose chief raw material is wood pulp from the forests.

    But the most disappointing fact is that paper is manufactured from wood pulp in the most inefficient manner possible since we have not been able to achieve efficient productivity in it in spite of the best efforts.

    The net result is that forests get destroyed enormously in our never ending hunger for information.

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