The Planet’s forests and woodlands are under and ever increasing pressure from deforestation, to provide timber for the lumber and paper trades. Land for development, agriculture as well as activities such as mining and hydropower. These pressures show no sign of stopping or slowing down.
Such activities threaten the way of life of the indigenous peoples and the lives of the dazzling array of plants and animals that live there causing extinction on a massive scale. So why is deforestation on the increase? Greed and the need to feed and provide for an ever-increasing human population. Yet there is such waste if we used the world’s resources sustainably we could provide plenty for all and still protect the balance of nature. But while once fertile land turns to dust, we cut down more forests to replace it and we have only ourselves to blame.
Nature strikes back in a variety of ways, fires, storms, cyclones, flooding and drought are just a few, yet we are the cause of it all, nature is simply responding to the conditions we create by releasing carbon dioxide. Forests provide protection from these disasters by taking in green house gasses, slowing down climate change yet we still cut them down hastening our own demise. Forests are also instrumental in preventing flooding and drought by acting as sponges that absorb water when there is a lot and are able to retain it when there is little.
The Truth of how our Forests Disappear
We are destroying the last of our precious natural resources, just as we are beginning to wake up to how vital they are. Rainforest once covered 14% of the land now it’s down to a mere 6%. Scientists predict that the rest could disappear in less than 40 years. Thousands of acres are cut down each second with dire consequences for the countries involved and the planet as a whole.
Scientists estimate that we loose 50,000 species every year, many species every second including 137 plant types (not even species but whole groups of plant species) and as these plants disappear before science can record them so does the opportunity to gain useful knowledge and possible medical cures.
Currently 121 registered drugs are produced from plants, 25% of pharmaceutical ingredients come from forests, yet not even 1% of the worlds flora has been tested for medicinal properties and we are rapidly loosing the chance to do so. 50% of the world’s flora and fauna is thought to be vulnerable to extinction in the near future.
Mankind’s Drive to save Nature
If we don’t stop abusing nature then its total annihilation (us included) is the only possible outcome. Yet nature is resilient and the possibility of repairing the damage is within our reach if only we take the big steps necessary to make amends.
Sustainable use of the world’s forests will allow nature and it’s life-giving properties to flourish whilst providing everything we need. Balancing the needs of every living thing with capitalism is never easy but even the greediest corporation has to sit up and listen if we make a stand. It will be too late when resources start to dry up so don’t wait for governments and big corporations to get on board but support the green moment now.
We are now aware of the damage our actions are having and it will be our biggest test to see if we can change in time to save the planet. The Earth can provide for us endlessly if only we work with her and not against.