The world’s forests are facing increasing pressure which, if left unchecked, will threaten the health of many industries, economies, nations, and lives. The development of an international fund to help developing countries implement useful conservation techniques in forest protection is the best way to protect the world’s forests and hopefully reverse negative trends that imperil our forests.
Using the internationally established forest protection fund to protect forest agriculture is perhaps the most important initiative. Dispersing these funds to governments, land owners, and farmers will allow them to resist intrusions by the logging industry, oil companies, and property developers who are after their land. This is a very specific initiative that will help agricultural areas from being developed into environmentally damaging industries and ensure that agricultural farm use is uninterrupted.
A second use of this protection fund could be used to develop the economies of villages and tribal communities located in forest areas. By parceling out funds to provide villagers and tribal residents of forests with a stipend will help these people continue their way of life and resist pressure to convert their forest land to the above mentioned industries. Providing living stipends and other financial aid to forest residents will help people afford education, health services, and nutritional aid so that they are less tempted to resort to destructive or exploitative forest practices to make a living.
Much of the global concern with deforestation focuses on the alarming loss of biodiversity. Humans use thousands of species of plants and animals on a daily basis for food, shelter, clothing and medicinal needs. Deforestation threatens species that humans rely on for these essential services. Using the international fund to help governments and people establish protected forest areas is the best way to maintain valuable forest biodiversity and protect species from exploitation, endangerment and extinction.
The world’s forests are indeed under tremendous pressure from industries and practices that deforest these important ecosystems. However, the suggestion put forth in the reading passage, that the creation of an international protection fund will help protect these areas, is flawed for several reasons.
Firstly, agriculture is itself a destructive force upon the forest ecosystem. With the rising populations, farmers are under constant pressure to increase harvest yields by using modern agricultural technology and practices. These include harmful practices such as fertilizer and pesticide use which have been proven to be detrimental to the surrounding environments because they create runoff waste and water pollution. This in turn leads to deforestation at a rate much worse than that of logging. Continued promotion of agriculture as a solution to deforestation is not a good idea.
Secondly, paying villagers and tribal communities a stipend is an inadequate solution to the deforestation problem. Disbursement of money from the international protection fund would mean that money would go to forest owners. More often than not these owners are in fact governments, not residents. Therefore, a payout of this sort would not end up in the hands of these forest dwellers. Additionally, there is no guarantee that if governments received money that it would be appropriately used to protect the forest.