Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ancient Forest

How much ancient forest do you need at home?

I saw this article at Greenpeace Website and thought that I might share it here.

Eight thousand years ago, large tracts of ancient forest covered almost half the earth's land area. Today, only one fifth of the original forests remain as large areas of ancient forest, the rest having been destroyed, degraded or fragmented by relentless human activity.

The primary causes of forest loss and degradation vary from region to region. They include agricultural expansion, mining , settlement, shifting agriculture, plantation establishment and infrastructural development
We are destroying the world’s precious ancient forests at an unprecedented rate. An area of natural forest the size of a soccer pitch is cut down every two seconds.

A quarter of the forest lost in the last 10,000 years has been destroyed in the last 30 years. Forest loss has a direct link to loss of biodiversity. The current extinction rate of plant and animal species is around 1,000 times faster than it was in pre-human times – and this will increase to 10,000 times faster by 2050.

Scientists predict that the Earth is entering the sixth major extinction event in its history.

Overall, only 8 percent of the world’s remaining intact forest landscapes are strictly protected.The proportion of the remaining intact forest landscapes of the world are located in the following areas:

• 35 percent in Latin America. The Amazon rainforest is mainly located in Brazil, which clears a larger area of forest annually than any other country in the world.

• 28 percent in North America. North America destroys 10,000 square kilometres of ancient forests every year. Many of the fragmented forests of southern Canada and the US lack adequate animal travel corridors and functioning ecosystems for large mammals.

• 19 percent in Northern Asia. Northern Asia is home to the second largest boreal forest in the world. The Siberian tiger once roamed across huge areas of Northern Asia but today it can only be found in a small area of intact forest near the Sea of Japan. Only 400 remain in the wild, with twice as many in zoos.

• 7 percent in South Asia Pacific. The Paradise Forests of Asia Pacific are being destroyed faster than any other forest on Earth. Much of the large intact forest landscapes have already been cut down, 72 percent in Indonesia and 60 percent in Papua New Guinea.

• 8 percent in Africa. Africa has lost most of its intact forest landscapes in the last 30 years. The timber industry is responsible for destroying huge areas of intact forest landscapes and continues to be the single largest threat to these areas.

• Less than 3 percent in Europe. In Europe, more than 150 square kilometres of intact forest landscapes fall victim to the chainsaw every year and the last areas of the region’s intact forest landscapes in European Russia are shrinking rapidly.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine a world without forests, without greens. What an eyesore!!!!!

At the rate we are going, I figure future generations will not experience the beauty of mother Earth. Please let's do our share of preserving the greens!!!


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