Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sustainability Update: Each Hectare of Forest Lost is One Less Sand Grain in the Hour Glass of Our World

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Sustainability Update: Each Hectare of Forest Lost is One Less Sand Grain in the Hour Glass of Our World

By Richard Power

The great forests of the Earth are being felled.

Ignorant men with bulldozers and chain-saws are just as dangerous to our future as ignorant men with tanks and automatic weapons.

Each hectare of forest that is lost is one less sand grain in the hour glass of our world. All life is a oneness. As the forests diminish, you and I diminish.

Here are excerpts from two important stories, one from Asia, one from South America, with links to the full texts:

When a global anti-graft watchdog surveys the Asian landscape for corruption indicators, the continent’s forests depleted by illegal logging invariably enter the picture.
And as the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) notes, in countries where excessive corruption prevails, the destruction of natural resources, such as local forests, for private gain is not far behind. ‘’Illegal logging is a symptom of the disease of corruption,’’ says Lisa Elges, TI’s senior programme coordinator for the Asia-Pacific region. ‘’In countries where deforestation is predominant, corruption is very high.’’ ...
In fact, TI estimates that if left unchecked, the current pace of illegal logging in the Asian region could result in a loss of 6.6 million hectares by 2020. The affected countries range from Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia to Burma, Laos and Papua New Guinea.
Currently, Asia and the Pacific have 700 million ha of forestland out of the world’s 3.9 million ha, or some 30 percent of the earth’s landmass. In the past 15 years, however, this region lost 10 million ha of its forest cover, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the U.N. agency that hosted the conference on forestry, which drew 250 experts, policy makers and activists from 39 countries. ...
Marwaan Macan-Markar, Inter Press Service, 10-20-07

Eight Greenpeace activists trapped in a Brazilian environmental protection agency (Ibama) office, for nearly two days, have finally managed to escape. Our team was forced to seek refuge in the Ibama Amazon base, after loggers blocked them from transporting a dead Brazil nut tree we had government permission to collect and use.
300 loggers, with eight trucks, ten vans, and 15 motorbikes surrounded the building. Then, last night, Brazilian police escorted our team to out of town.
We intended to use the Brazil nut tree as part of a public exhibition exposing Amazon destruction and its contribution to global warming. The tree was taken from land that had been illegally cleared and burnt.
Unfortunately, the Brazilian government gave in to the loggers, and revoked Greenpeace's license to remove, transport and exhibit the valuable and protected Brazil nut tree, now in custody of the loggers. Despite the government back down, many loggers continued to surround the building with our activists inside. It was not until police committed to escort them later that night, that the Greenpeace team was able to make it to safety. ... Deforestation is responsible for three quarters of Brazil's greenhouse gas emissions, and makes the country the fourth largest climate polluter in the world. Our exhibition using the Brazil nut tree to highlight this has wide support across the country. Governors of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have already confirmed their attendance.
Greenpeace, 10-18-07

See also Sustainability Update: Thom Hartmann & Bioneer Kenny Ausubel on Evolution, Not Devolution -- From Warring Tribes of Bacteria to Green Collar Justice, Sustainability Update 10-5-07: Ask Them, "What Is It That You Don't Understand?" and Sustainability Update 4-19-07: Simple Truths

For the Words of Power Climate Crisis Updates Archive, click here.

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