We having been hearing about the effects of climate change and global warming in the media for some time and yet the destruction of the world’s rainforests which is continuing at an alarming rate is still not as widely talked about perhaps because it is not the subject of as much political attention and debate.
Conservation biologists have made the headlines recently with the news that previously undiscovered species, including a giant rat, have been found in a dense area of rainforest in Indonesia.
It is thought that half of the world’s wildlife live in the tropical rainforests and as deforestation continues, species are being eradicated before they have even been discovered.
Deforestation is cause for concern not just because of the loss of animals, birds, insects and plants. The sustainability of crops depends on the rainfall from moisture pumped into the atmosphere by rainforests. In addition, a huge amount of carbon that is emitted by human activities (approximately 15%) is stored in the trees and the soil in the rainforest areas. The importance of preserving the rainforests that remain must be understood by us all. We should unite in common agreement that this holds the key to saving the planet from the damage that humans have done and are continuing to do.
It is extraordinary that the rate of rainforest destruction is estimated at six million hectares every year which is why urgent action is required to stop this.
This will be high on the agenda at the forthcoming Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen later this year. One of the aims is to reach a deal to financially reward and incentivise the developing countries for the carbon held in their rainforest. This could take some time to implement so it has been proposed and supported by the Prince’s Rainforests Project among others for emergency action to be taken to provide funds of up to £25 billion between 2010 and 2015 to reduce deforestation by a quarter. This would be paid to those countries proportionally depending on how much rainforest they save.
We will be following the summit in Copenhagen closely to see what progress is made in providing the developing countries with the incentive they require to save our precious rainforests. There are large sums of money required to make this deal acceptable to those nations but if an agreement cannot be reached and we don’t take the necessary action now then a far greater price will be paid by mankind in the end.
Find out more at The Guardian website
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