The safe keeping of our precious planet lies with each and every member of its human population. We are the ones accountable for our actions even though it is ourselves we are accountable too. We have the power and knowledge to turn this planet into a green and pleasant place to live or to completely destroy all life. Deforestation is one of the major pressing environmental issues we face and one we must address the solutions to and quickly if we are to restore the damage we have done to the environment.
Although forests may seem a small and insignificant part of the world landscape when seen as a whole they play a vital role in maintaining the atmosphere and there is a real possibility that we could be left with nothing but wasteland if they were to disappear.
Various solutions to deforestation have been suggested and tried to see what effect they had. Some were more successful than others.
Sustainable Commercial Logging Options – this is an attempt to regulate logging to ensure it is done in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way by permitting logging at a minimal rate. Environmentalists believe this scheme had a negligible effect as more deforestation occurred. This would probably be more effective if better incentives were given to those who were sustainable. The logging need to be better regulated and enforcement carried out to ensure the rules were stuck to.
The Tropical Forestry Action Plan was not a success as it’s main premise that deforestation was due to poverty. Deforestation by those trying to make a living from the forest is on a small scale and has little effect. The assumption that the timber harvest would help lift these people out of poverty was false as they rarely received much.
The limits of reserve strategy aimed to preserve the soil and prevent erosion once the land was cleared did not really address the issue of deforestation. Instead of protection to the soil it should have concentrated on protecting the forest itself.
International biodiversity action plans aimed to protect habitats by placing protection upon important keystone species. Again it needed to protect the forest itself rather than individual species and did little to address the issues of deforestation.
Giving ownership of the forests to the indigenous peoples may help preserve areas of rainforest however the land would then be outside governmental control. Though conditions could be in place to ensure that it is well managed.
Using other crops, as a substitute to lumber doesn’t really solve the problem as the land is still needed to grow the crop, land that is likely to be claimed from the forest.
The main and probably the most important ay to reduce deforestation is to inform and give consumers the choice to reject forest made products, though they will need viable sustainable alternatives to choose from.
Which ever method or combination of method we use the important thing to work together and all put our full support behind it as that is the only way we can succeed in eliminating deforestation.