Action Plans for Tropical Forests

Written by Science Knowledge on 7:41 AM

More than 6 billion people on Earth use wood products every day to construct buildings, produce paper, make furniture, and heat their homes. Forests will never be free of some level of destruction, but action plans can help by encouraging people to think of forests as a nonrenewable resource that needs diligent protection. In reality, forests are renewable resources because they return if allowed a long enough period of time.

Tropical forest conservation may be divided into five general action plans that are all geared toward immediate relief of the stress on tropical forests, rather than long-term solutions. Groups such as the Rainforest Action Network, Friends of the Earth, and the National Resources Defense Council urge members to follow these plans listed here by either encouraging community action or demanding the ear of government officials. The first action plan involves the certification of wood products to assure businesses and the public that their purchases come from woods produced in a sustainable manner. Second, citizens can offer assistance to companies that want to adopt more sustainable methods. Third, grassroots programs can help make quick progress by avoiding the red tape found in bureaucracies. The Rainforest Action Network, for example, established in 1993 the Protect-an-Acre Program in Brazil to give small grants to local communities for purchasing sustainable use forest. The program currently works in Acre, activist Chico Mendes’s home state, to protect land from proposed oil drilling. A fourth approach involves activism in which the public demands an end to needless destruction due to oil drilling, mining, and agriculture, and to encourage banks not to fund destructive industries but instead fund only sustainable industries. In 2004 the Rainforest Action Network persuaded Citigroup, the world’s largest bank at the time, to reorganize its lending practices with more emphasis on sustainable industries. The fifth action plan encourages people to inform the public about companies that currently destroy oldgrowth forests with no desire for sustainable practices, perhaps embarrassing these companies into adopting better methods.

Any of the action plans described here work much better if they receive cooperation from government. For instance, Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s most heavily forested countries, yet its rate of deforestation will destroy all of its accessible forests by the year 2021 if leaders look the other way. Phil Shearman is director of the University of Papua New Guinea’s satellite imagery project for monitoring the country’s forests. He told the New Zealand Herald in 2008, “Forests in Papua New Guinea are being logged repeatedly and wastefully with little regard for the environmental consequences and with at least the passive complicity of government authorities.” Local and national governments hold the key to successful forest conservation, explaining why groups such as the Rainforest Action Network put considerable effort into getting government leaders on their side. The case study, “Ecotourism in Belize’s Rain Forests,” describes a project with just such cooperation.

Source of Information : Green Technology Conservation Protecting Our Plant Resources

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