Wood clearing and deforestation
We must protect our forests
It's not a coincidence that the words 'world' and 'wood' are easily confused. To protect our world, we need woods. But is the global community really doing its part to protect the world's green havens?
Unfortunately, we're going to have to answer negative.
Sad fact No. 1: Between 1990 and 2015, 239 million hectares of the world's natural forests were destroyed.
Sad fact No.1.2: That corresponds to an area the size of Germany. Well actually almost 7 times that...
To clarify what this means, let's take another look at the map of Europe. Now imagine that we take the area of Germany and position it almost 7 times on this map. There is not much left of Europe. So it's no wonder that according to Greepeace worldwide only 20% of the original forest area has been preserved.
The question arises: what are we destroying our beautiful forests for?
Livestock is destroying the jungle
The answer is simple yet difficult to understand. Much of the Amazon rainforest has to give way to cattle breeding or the cultivation of fodder (soy). An area of land the size of around 30 soccer fields is cut down every minute (as mentioned in our blog: 6 ways to be more sustainable ). This is due to the excessive consumption of meat. Palm oil is another big offender and is unfortunately is now used in many products (especially in cosmetics or as a biofuel.) Because it is grown largely in the Indonesian rainforest , this area has recently suffered huge levels of deforestation. By deliberately avoiding products with these resource-intensive components, we are ceasing to support this destructive industry. The fact is that if we consume these things, we support those who cut down trees. We don't need to be the ones standing in the forest with a chainsaw or the people sitting behind the wheel of the harvester to have played a part in deforestation.
The problem of modern forestry
Without human interference, over 90% of Germany would be forest land. Most of the forest area would be covered with beeches.
But due to forestry nowadays less than ⅓ of Germany consists of forests. And these forests aren't even all the old, native forests. In order to forest 'sustainably', new trees were planted in Germany after deforestation. However, the renewable tree species were only chosen because they grew quickly and actually have no great demands on nutrients in the soil, which is why extensive monocultures of spruce and pine have been created. The problem of conifer monocultures is obvious: biodiversity fluctuates and suffers. The monotony also means that the resistance to pests is lost - it is easy for bark beetles to settle and wreak havoc. Native tree species such as yew, ash, birch, linden, beech or oak are much more resistant to pests and can maintain an intact defence system in central European climates.
The biggest problem in modern forestry, however, is the speed and aggressiveness with which it is carried out. The following picture gives a bitter insight into what happens around us every day.
Greed leads man to mischief. As long as heads of state like the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro shy away from nothing, including clearing previously untouched forest areas inhabited by indigenous peoples, we must fear for our biodiversity. Since his presidency the area of forests which have been cleared in Brazil more than doubled .
It is up to us to counteract this destruction. Not just passively by stopping to support these harmful industries, but actively. We - you and I - can do something for our planet together. Plant your first trees with us today!
*This blog entry was created with the help of Chantal Bode.