I was lucky enough to be pointed in the direction of a terrific article by Rachel Brown, published in DIY Garden, and the title will tell you why it’s close to all our hearts here at The Word Forest Organisation. The Ultimate Guide To Help Prevent Deforestation is pretty much what it says on the tin!
The article takes on a huge subject but it’s nicely broken down into easily digestible nuggets, with a clear narrative thread that guides the reader through history and science to the things that can and, indeed, are already being done. I enjoyed Rachel’s conversational tone – although I was reading, it felt more like having a chat with an extremely knowledgeable friend.
There’s a good peppering of reference material throughout, making it easy to click and find more detail on a particular point, should you so wish. This includes articles, scientific papers and some great short explanatory videos.
The piece itself is broken into three broad sections. The first, ‘what deforestation is’, clarifies the difference between deforestation and forest degradation and offers a concise summary of how the increase in the human population and related changes in behaviour and lifestyle has had a growing impact on forests worldwide. From agriculture and the expansion of settlements to the impact of travel and trade, it includes the sharp increase in the rate of deforestation from the Middle Ages and its intensification during the Industrial Revolution in the mid-nineteenth century. There’s an examination of some of the main reasons/drivers for its continued acceleration today, with geographical detail, for example clearance for agriculture in the Amazon, demand for firewood, charcoal and timber in east Africa and the creation of palm oil plantations in southeast Asia.
I found it fascinating that there is archaeological evidence in ancient Greece and also in the Mississippi Delta for soil erosion due to deforestation. Same problem, different centuries and yet it seems that we humans have still not learned that lesson!
Part two, ‘why deforestation is a major problem’, summarises and explains concisely many of the results of deforestation: loss of carbon sinks, soil erosion, impacts on the water cycle, species extinction, loss of biodiversity and negative effects on human health, communities and lifestyles. Those of you who follow our newsfeed regularly will recognise a good number of these; our writers have produced some brilliant articles on these very subjects!
The third section, ‘how we can prevent and reverse deforestation’, goes on to consider solutions that have already begun to be implemented globally, such as land rights, sustainable farming, payment for ecosystem services, better forest management and reforestation. It includes a link to the UN REDD+ webpage (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) as well as suggesting steps that we can all take, not only to help slow deforestation and forest degradation, but also to help protect existing forests and support reforestation efforts worldwide.
We’re honoured to see that The Word Forest Organisation is recommended as a great charity to volunteer for. Thank you, Rachel!
You can read the full article here: https://diygarden.co.uk/wildlife/how-to-prevent-deforestation/
If you’d like to support us in our quest to help reforest Kenya, visit us here. Thank you!
Izzy Robertson and The Team