The destruction of our rainforests is dramatic. Every minute about 20 football pitches of rainforest are destroyed. If the global deforestation continues at this rate, every rainforest on earth will probably be completely deforested in 100 years. This destruction of forests is an often underestimated problem. If one examines this tragedy in detail, it quickly becomes clear that there is an urgent need for change.
A hectare and a half of forest is cleared every second. This means that an estimated 28,000 species will die out in the next 50 years. Every year tropical forests are lost according to the area of Portugal. Especially in the industrialized world this problem is not tangible and does not influence our daily life for the time being. On the other hand, about 1.6 billion people worldwide depend on forest products.
This enormous destruction is primarily due to our consumption. Whether palm oil, paper, meat or cocoa, all these yields actively contribute to this incredible rate of destruction of tropical forests.
Forestry and agriculture are responsible for 24% of all greenhouse gas emissions and are therefore one of the biggest factors for global warming. In general, deforestation of rainforests affects our climate in two ways. Firstly, plants release the carbon dioxide inside them when they are cleared. On the other hand, trees and plants are essential to absorb and store the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. This means that if there are less and less forests that maintain this process, global warming will be accelerated and intensified.
The devastating consequences:
The consequences of the destruction of our rainforests are manifold. On the one hand, this leads to the extinction of countless animal species. This leads to the fact that the ecosystem of tropical rainforests becomes more unstable and is no longer able to guarantee essential tasks such as the storage and purification of water or the protection against landslides. The consequences for our climate are also fatal. Up to 11% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which currently contribute to climate change, result from the global destruction of forests and other land use changes (such as peat drainage).
In addition, the displacement of indigenous peoples is increasing due to the demand for mineral resources and plantations. This intervention damages long-standing cultures and their transfer of knowledge.
The enormous leaching of agricultural land means that the soil lacks any nutrients. These are often left behind as bare areas. This excessive use also contributes to soil erosion. In addition, the enormous expansion of the infrastructure contributes to the active destruction of the rainforests, a very large proportion. This destruction changes the entire microclimate of the forests.
What can I do?
The effects of global deforestation are serious but not irreversible. It is time to consciously deal with personal consumer behaviour and to be a little more grateful and loving with our environment. Every small improvement counts. It is not the goal to save the world on our own, but together, if we all pull in the same direction, it is possible to lead our world in the right direction.
Things you can change immediately:
- Save paper, or reuse it and switch to recycled paper. This saves trees!
- Reduce meat consumption and buy organic meat. That saves soy!
- Conscious handling of heating, light & Co, saving energy. This saves CO2!
- Leave the car parked more often and ride your bike or train. This saves fuel and emissions!
- Avoid packaging waste and disposable products. This saves resources from the rainforest. (e.g. aluminium)
- Use fabric bags instead of plastic bags. This saves crude oil
- Buy fair trade products. To enable local people to have a stable income!
- Regional and seasonal shopping. This saves CO2!
- Wear sustainable clothing! Learn more