BIODIVERSITY: the variety of life in an ecosystem
- More than half of the world's forests have been destroyed within the past 10,000 years or so.
- Annual rate of deforestation is estimated to be about 13.7 million hectares.
- In the 800 years that humans have occupied by modern humans, 75% of the original forests have disappeared.
- 94% of Madagascar's biologically productive lands have been degraded by deforestation.
- Deforestation was one of the causes of the Dust Bowl.
- The extinction rate of could be from 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal biological extinction rate.
CONSEQUENCES OF DEFORESTATION
- Loss of biodiversity
- Changes in the climate
- Sediment is carried off roads into streams destroying aquatic life
- Selective logging increases flammabilities of forests
- A lot of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere
- Increased soil erosion
WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED?
- Deforestation accounts for about 10% of the world's heat-trapping emissions.
- Forests provide habitats to animal species.
- They are a source of livelihood for different populations.
- Pressuring corporations and markets: Hold suppliers accountable for producing commodities; introduce zero deforestation policies
- Changing Politics: The government should embrace policies and make laws to protect forests
- Consumers Option: Purchase recycled wood products, support deforestation policies, put pressure on companies with bad environmental practices
- Ecosystem blueprints could help restore destroyed environments