Protecting what Remains of the World’s Forests

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According the World Wildlife Fund’s website, “Forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet.” We rely on forests for numerous reasons, not the least of which is oxygen. However, these forests are being destroyed at an extraordinarily rapid pace—about 18.7 million acres per year. This destruction robs many endangered forest dwelling species of their natural habitat. But, what exactly is causing this massive deforestation?

The WWF identifies illegal logging operations, forest fires, and fuelwood harvesting (removing timber for the purpose of using it for fuel) as the central contributors to global deforestation. These problems affect not only forests and their ecosystems, they are a source of grief for governments and their citizens.

“Tropical forests hold more than 210 gigatons of carbon, and deforestation represents around 15% of greenhouse gas emissions,” says the WWF. This information has significant implications should we fail to conserve what remains of the world’s forests and potentially replenish what has been lost. Deforestation contributes to more than just climate change; it also disrupts an ecosystem’s water cycle, increases the erosion of soil, and can potentially harm the livelihoods of the inhabitants who live in forested regions.

The WWF says that they’re working extensively to decrease the rate of deforestation and fight its causes. To learn more about deforestation and how to combat it, visit: https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation.

Also, let me know what your opinions are about the current state of the world’s forests. Do you think we can do more? Are you interested in getting involved with an organization like the World Wildlife Fund? Let me know at bentleqp@mail.uc.edu.

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About Author

Quinlan is a staff writer for the UC Clermont Lantern: he joined The Lantern in 2018. Quinlan enjoys reading, listening to music, and discussing current events. A sophomore majoring in liberal arts at UC Clermont, Quinlan plans on transferring to UC main campus in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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