Poaching and global wildlife crimes are some of the top reasons many species join the endangered list every year. Elephants, tigers, and rhinos are among the critically endangered species that have been targeted by powerful animal poaching rings across the world.
In 2013 alone, over 790 rhinos were poached in South Africa, nearly 62 percent of African elephants were killed in the past 12 years, and the diminishing Asian Tiger population is hovering in the balance.
Here are the ways you can be a part of the solution to conserve wildlife, their environment and support local communities:
1.Engage with the conservation community.
The ways to contribute are vast—from supporting park rangers who risk their lives every day as the first line of defense in protecting wildlife from armed poachers, to donating to foundations caring for orphaned and injured wildlife, to supporting high-profile campaigns to stop demand, or by writing letters to your policy makers to ask them to help save vanishing species.
2.Visit a national park to support the wildlife economy, promote sustainable tourism and be touched and captivated by nature.
3.Reduce demand for illegal wildlife parts and products by not purchasing products made from these items—as our partner Wild Aid says: “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”
4.Commit to learning more about the risks to wildlife and their habitats and reducing your carbon footprint to keep forests, wildlife and oceans healthy and intact.
5. Use the power of your network to inspire others to act urgency of the situation. by spreading the word about the issues facing different species and communicating the gravity and urgency of the situation.
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#1 Stop deforestation
Forests are one of the most important ecosystems on Earth. 80 percent of all terrestrial plants, insects, and animals call forests home. Nearly one third of people in the world depend directly on forests for their livelihoods .
Trees help regulate the climate, filter water through their root system, capture dust particles and pollutants from the air and stabilize soils against erosion. They perform these vital services equally for everyone without taking into account country boundaries or the size of your income.
Deforestation is happening everywhere on the planet for many different reasons that vary from region to region. Vast areas of rainforests in a number of tropical countries, including Indonesia, Brazil, and Malaysia, have been destroyed to make way for palm oil, soy plantations and cattle ranches. The increasing global demand for wood products threatens many ancient forests around the world, whether it is for paper products, furniture or fuel.
Ending deforestation is the best chance we have to stabilize our climate, save wildlife species and protect our well-being. Protecting the forest is our mutual responsibility, no matter how far away we live from the nearest one. Adopt some of these strategies to help prevent the loss of more trees.
What can we do about defforestation?
1. The most straightforward personal strategy to fight against deforestation is to plant a tree. Planting a tree could be considered a lifelong investment into the environment and your good mental health. Here are 20 Reasons Why You Should Plant Trees
The cutting down of trees causes billions of tons of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) to be released into the air. By planting trees, you are helping to combat global warming because trees absorb carbon dioxide. You are also helping to reduce run off water from the hills. Tree roots prevent landslides and rock slides that sometimes can harm animals, people or damage buildings.
Planting and caring for trees is essential for the overall health and quality of life of the community and wildlife.
#2 Use less paper
Globally, 40 percent of all timber is used to make paper products, and the demand for paper increases by two to three percent every year . This means that the paper industry is still consuming more and more trees.
#3 Recycle paper and cardboard
If just 12 percent of all the paper used by Ugandans in one year were recycled, 25 million trees would be saved . That makes 367 million pounds of carbon dioxide absorbed by these trees in one year. This means that even by recycling just one paper item out of 10, you are making a difference. Imagine how many trees you can save and how much good they perform for the quality of our lives by recycling all your paper.
#4 Use recycled products
You may have noticed a little label “made from recycled paper” on your new notebook. The same label can be found on many other daily use items like books, paper bags, egg packaging and even toilet paper.By choosing items made from recycled paper, you make a conscious effort to lower the demand for more timber.
Besides decreasing the need to cut more trees, your purchase is also supporting paper recycling facilities and reducing the amount of waste entering landfills. Therefore, try to purchase your next notebook made from recycled paper and the environment will be very thankful. The same rule goes for furniture shopping. When buying a new piece of furniture, try to look first for already used pieces. You can often find real treasures for almost no cost. All they need is just a little bit of refurbishing.
#5 Buy only sustainable wood products
As a consumer, you can help reduce the demand for more logging (especially illegal logging) by ensuring that you only purchase products which are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC is currently the best global standard in forest management, and provides a system for interested parties to work towards responsible forest management. By purchasing FSC certified products, you are doing two important things: You are ensuring that you aren’t supporting unsustainable or illegal logging, You are also supporting companies who strive to produce wood sustainably and respect the rights of their workers and indigenous peoples
#6 Don’t buy products containing palm oil
While a small amount of palm oil may be sustainably produced, the majority comes from recently cleared land. Palm oil production has become one of the main causes of tropical rainforest destruction around the world today.
Did you know that palm oil is found in many of the products you buy from the supermarket?
A large percentage of the world’s palm oil production comes from Indonesia and Malaysia, where the virgin rainforest is being cleared at an alarming rate of 2.4 million acres a year to make way for new plantations.
Avoiding products containing palm oil might not be easy, because it can be disguised in many different forms in numerous beauty products and food. If you cannot drop some of your favorite products with palm oil entirely, look at least for an alternative that carries a sustainable palm oil certification.
#7 Do not burn firewood excessively
More than two billion people around the world rely only on firewood to cook and heat their homes. Unfortunately, this often happens in poor areas where already vulnerable forests near villages and towns are cut for fuel well before they can regenerate. Such mismanagement slowly leads to their total disappearance.
Global forests suffer already a great deal of damage from our excessive consumption, when you want to make a fire in your fireplace, make sure you burn wood from sustainably managed forests that have enough time to naturally regenerate.
Eco-forestry is a restorative method of forest management, which is not based on economic productivity. In this practice, certain trees are selectively harvested while causing minimal damage to the rest of the forest.
The long-term aim of this method is to systematically fell mature trees, while leaving the forest ecosystem relatively unaffected.
If you own a piece of forest work with Four Crane Safaris and follow these principles for they will pay you back in the long run more than the profit focused short-term forestry.
# 9 Raise awareness
Major environmental problems such as deforestation often continue to occur because of a lack of awareness and knowledge about the problem. By educating people about the effects of their actions, such as palm oil consumption, the amount of deforestation can be reduced. Tell your friends and family about steps they can take to reduce global deforestation or show them this article .
Better awareness and education is important even in the case of farmers. Education of local farmers about optimizing their land management will ensure that less forested areas need to be cleared for farming. After all, farmers are the stewards of our lands.
#10 Respect the rights of indigenous people
Although this isn’t an issue which is well publicized or widely realized, deforestation destroys the lives of millions of indigenous people. In many remote areas, large international corporations under the cover of corrupt governments intentionally violate the rights of local communities.
The best example of such a mistreatment and disrespect are happening in the Amazon with cattle ranching, or in southeast Asia with the spread of palm oil plantations, resulting often in conflicts and even physical attacks against native people. But when indigenous people are given equal rights and their traditional lands are respected, the incidence of (illegal) deforestation decreases, as they are able to legally fight for protection of their forests.
#11 Support orgnization that fight deforestation
Numerous international and locally-focused organizations strive to protect forests from deforestation and apply sustainable forestry practices. You can support their efforts by visiting their websites, making donations, or perhaps even participating in their volunteering programs.
#12 Join a community forestry project!
Community forestry is carried out by local residents, volunteers, and schools with the support of the government. This forestry technique involves tree planting, timber harvesting, cleaning, and forest conservation. Through the active involvement in the management of forests, local people become much more aware of all the benefits intact forests provide for them on a daily basis. strengthening their social bonds, regenerating degraded lands, purifying and securing water supply, providing communities with cheap and local source of fuel. If you have a chance and time, join a local community forestry project. You may get far more benefits from simply being outdoors with trees and soil than you could ever get from online messaging with your friends.
#14 Help restore degraded forests
Restoration of degraded forests is a challenging task that takes decades, and requires careful planning and monitoring. It is not easy, but it is necessary if we do not want to lose all our forests. What is wonderful about forest restoration is the ecosystem’s capacity to perfectly recover and give us a new chance to start once again.
For example: In just 50 years a part of a long lost tropical rainforest in Costa Rica was successfully revived. Similarly successful was South Korea’s reforestation program that has managed to nearly double the country’s forest cover from 35 to 64 percent since 1950s.
Non-profit organizations such as The Sierra Club are working throughout the world to restore degraded forests and return them to their former glory. While this doesn’t reduce deforestation directly, it can offset many negative impacts of deforestation on a global scale. Look for such organizations in your area or in the area of your interest and support their activities if you can.
When Deforestation is Happening?
To certain extent, deforestation happens everywhere in the world and has been happening even throughout our history. Within the limits of sustainability, forests have incredible capacity to recover and can be logged for centuries without getting damaged.
The problem comes when our consumption exceeds the natural ability of forests to regenerate, and when we start to overexploit this resource on a large-scale. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is currently happening in many tropical countries that are homes to unique rainforests.
According to a 2017 study of the world’s deforestation hot spots, Brazil, Indonesia and Democratic Republic of Congo are countries with the highest absolute forest loss in the world.
In Uganda, forests are cleared to make space for agriculture and Charcoal . In Nigeria it is for the palm oil. And in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the main reason is extensive tree felling for fuel and farm land around rapidly growing cities.
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