The Problem

At the current rate at which the rain forests are being destroyed, there will be no more rain forests in 30 years. And we are NOT planting enough new TREES. That is in a nut shell the REAL PROBLEM.

Some of the main reasons for deforesting:
In the last 40 years, the demand for precious tropical hardwoods has multiplied nearly 25 times. People will continue to want them for furniture, woodworking and cabinetry, musical instruments, shipbuilding, and construction. Unfortunately, this means that the rain forests will not last unless something drastic occurs.

deforestThe growth in population, especially in the tropics, keeps pushing up the deforestation rate.

Much of the deforestation has come from clear-cutting the forest to raise cattle. Unfortunately, this is very short term, because clear-cutting causes massive loss of topsoil and degradation of the streams and the environment. Pretty soon, the land no longer supports cattle, because it has lost its fertility. Then the farm is moved to the next area, and another section of the forest is clear-cut.

Another issue is the poaching of trees from the forests. Since a mature hardwood log can bring in two to three times the average annual income in Panama, the temptation is enormous to cut whatever trees are left. Imagine the temptation to yourself if you could get more than three times your annual income by harvesting one tree! Many of the people who are poaching were loggers in the past. As it was their job to cut down trees, it is hard for them to understand that they shouldn’t do it any more.

Currently, 99% of tropical hardwoods sold are taken from virgin, old growth, tropical rain forest. Only 1 to 2% of the wood is currently harvested from plantations. This cannot continue much longer, or, as stated before, within 30 years, there will be no more tropical rain forest from which to harvest.

In 2002 the WORLD BANK communicated the urgent need to replant 15 million hectares [1 hectare = 2.47 acres] of deforested land, per year, for ten years. Each hectare of reforested land typically requires a minimum of 1,000 trees. You can do the math yourself, but the world needs to find a way to plant a minimum of 15 BILLION – yes, BILLION – trees each year, for the next ten years.

We hope we made our point……Plant trees today!

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