An overgrown structure deep in the forest of Galicia, Spain by Francisco Lopez
Humans. We’re killing ourselves.
- Approximately 50% of land that could support tropical rain forests has already been lost to human activities.
- A swath the size of Florida is destroyed every year. One entire football field is cut per second.
- The effect on biodiversity will be profound: 50% of all the world’s species are threatened with extinction because of deforestation.
- This loss of rain forest, unchecked – to fuel population growth, commerce and industry – will amount one of the greatest atrocities mankind has every inflicted upon itself.
- Countless life-saving medicines have come from species that only exist in rain forests, and millions of plants and animals have yet to be discovered.
- Tropical rain forests produce about 30% of our planet’s fresh water.
- The Amazon has lost about 18% of its rainforest, while 50% has been damaged by fragmentation.
- The highest rate of deforestation is occurring in Southeast Asia, where about 70% of the area is now deforested (approximately two million hectares per year.
- Originally, tropical rain forests covered 15-18 million km2 of land surface, but by 1989 this area had been cut to less than half.
- Logging, land grabs, farming and palm oil plantations have had the most impact on rain forests. Corruption has allowed much to go unregulated. Meanwhile, the majority of multinational corporations that rely on palm oils have put profits ahead of sustainability. From toothpaste to beauty products to processed foods – these cheap, modern conveniences have generated billions of dollars in profit and have come at a tragic, yet mostly hidden, price to humanity.
- At the current rate, all rain forest and the biodiversity that can only exist there – disappear in less than 50 years.
- If the rate increases exponentially, at the same rate of human population growing in tropical countries (2.3% annually):
All rain forests are projected to disappear in less than 30 years – along with 50% of all species on earth.
One of the world’s largest palm oil traders, Wilmar international, is a Singapore-based company that controls 45 percent of the world’s palm oil market. This palm oil supplies household brands such as Procter & Gamble, Mondelez and Reckitt Benckiser.
They’ve faced huge pressure from NGOs to develop more environmentally sustainable practices.
In 2013, Unilever was one of the first multinational corporations to take a sizable step, asking Wilmar to pledge that 100 percent of the palm oil used in its supply chain would by fully traceable by the end of 2014.
But that’s just one deal and there’s still more to be done. What can you do to apply more pressure?
Post, share, use your skills in any way you can to spread this message. Beyond raising awareness, think of how you can use your creativity to affect real change. If you work in marketing or advertising, do your research. Have the difficult conversations. If you’re not in the position to, pass it up the ranks. Every single decision has impact now, and people must own up not just on principle – but for the sake of all human civilization.
Follow (and donate to) these NGOs:
But we need to do much more.
All the awareness and lobbying in the world has yet to stem the destruction. We need a sea change of sentiment. We need to shine direct light not only on ourselves – but also the governments, corporations, and supply chains that continue to destroy these biodiversity hot spots.
This isn’t a call for fringe activism or boycotts. We need pressure and constructive results. If you are a programmer, a developer, a graphic designer, an investor, a product designer or technologist - contact me.
Let’s discuss what we can do together.
The Canadian Boreal Forest is one of the biggest forests and wetland ecosystems which are still left on the face of the earth (a Boreal Forests are also known as ”Taiga”). The Canadian Boreal Forest has a very large populations of wolves, grizzly bears, and woodland caribou. The Canadian Boreal Forest contains about 1.5 million lakes which are 80% earth’s fresh water (excluding frozen areas) also some of Canada’s largest lakes can be found there. In Alberta, around 90% of cutlines (almost a decade later) have not yet regrown and mark the earth as man made scars(Cutlines are narrow and linear features created as a part of geophysical surveys). Instead cutlines accumulate water and become small canals.
GLOUSCHENKO, NIKOLAI Summer Forest
The Purple Forest
Les peupliers, Henri Martin. French Pointillist Painter (1860 - 1943)