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Sustainably Managed Forests

The largest threat to our rainforests is Man; through development such as agriculture, mining, and irresponsible logging. Through a process of slash and burn, just one farmer could remove vast forests just to feed his one family. Sustainable managed forests eliminate deforestation, while supporting local economies.

Irresponsible Deforestation

Irresponsible deforestation destroys irreplaceable ecosystems, homes of animals, soil, and natural water filtering sustems. Often times, after these areas are deforested, soil is exposed to dramatic changes of wind and sunlight, and in a short time renders it useless for agriculture as well. And even though awareness has been spread and emphasized worldwide, swaths the size of Panama are lost each year. At this rate te world’s rainforests could be completely lost in a hundred years. Many who are aware of this danger suggest an immediate cease to all logging and forest development. However, many people depend on this land and forests for their livelihood, and ending development of forest lands over a short or long period of time would cripple local communities.

Sustainably Managed Forests

There is a solution that eliminates having to choose between; losing all of our rainforests, or ceasing all land development and the use of wood products. The solution is stewardship; the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving. Application of sustainable managed forests does just that. Sustainable forest managment requires that trees be planted to replace the trees which are harvested, and in a way that conserves the forest’s ecosystem. In fact, a successfully managed sustainable forest will grow, since these trees essentially become a crop, and more trees to harvest, equals more profit. Businesses that manage the forests they harvest from will create jobs for local workers, which reduce the amount of unnecessary farming. In addition to growing forests in a safe way and creating jobs, managed forests allow for land to be developed for other purposes with the concept of rotating crops. Sustainably managed forests benefit both industry and environment.

So how do we move to sustainable managed forests instead of deforestation? First, use wood products from companies that receive their material from certified managed forests. This takes support away from organizations that do not manage forests, and creates a market to support the companies that do manage forests. Second, use wood products from these companies opposed to plastic, which takes much longer to decompose. Where there is a market for wood from managed forests, there are jobs and livelihood for local communities who manage and harvest forests in a responsible way.