022_Global13_Insight_Forestry

Global 13

Global Insight Sustainable Forestry Helping the planet to breathe Solutions to many of the world’s concerns about climate change are not necessarily hard to identify or even expensive to deliver. Protecting its existing forest cover is one evident solution, but if governments are serious about conservation, they urgently need to come up with effective regulation and begin supporting projects that will work to prevent further unnecessary deforestation or forest degradation,Fiona Harveyreports A tracks leads off the narrow track, heading further into the indigenous peoples. Tribes conserve and even revere these trees.they also play home to a large number of animal species from jag-uars to monkeys, and their nuts are one of the main staple foods ofbout 16km inland from the Amazon River, near the villageof Juruti in the heart of Brazil’s rainforest, a set of tyre dense trees. By the side of the tracks, small trees and undergrowth When they look after the forest, Brazil nut trees fl ourish, and in have been tossed to one side. But a few kilometres further on we their shadow lesser species also thrive. fi nd the real prize: a small clearing has been made, with trees felled As the Brazilian loggers show, sustainable forestry is under and undergrowth removed over a few square metres. The damage threat around the world. Indigenous people are being cleared off is greatest on one side – trees seem to have been bent over and their land to make room for cattle ranches in Brazil, palm oil plan- crushed, and dragged around by some very large, tall object. tations in Malaysia, pulp and paper operations in South-East Asia, This is the site where a Brazil nut tree was felled and removed and logging in the Democratic Republic of Congo. No major rain- from the forest by illegal loggers. It is the new face of an old prac- forest region in the world is unscathed. tice. Instead of felling every sort of tree across an area, the loggers Yet our forests are essential not just to the people who live in move in to extract the most valuable species, remove it while leav- them, but to the whole of the planet. They supply us with a wide ing relatively little other damage, and clear out as quickly as pos- range of products, from timber to honey, and even more impor- sible. They repeat this across wide areas, and manage to avoid the tantly, with invisible ‘ecosystem services’. Forests play a key role law because in the vastness of the forest the activities barely show in holding topsoil and land together – as has been tragically evident up even under satellite monitoring. in Haiti deforested slopes are much more prone to mudslides – and Brazil nut trees – the ‘kings of the forest’, enormously tall and they help to maintain the health of watersheds. In Brazil, the forests strong – are not only essential to the ecology of the rainforest, but help provide the rest of the continent with rain, enabling the vast 22 lwww.global-briefing.org first quarter 2013global


Global 13
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