When a Mars-size object collided with Earth 4.5 billion years ago, it knocked off a chunk that would become the moon. It also tilted Earth sideways a bit, so that our planet now orbits the sun on a slant.
The current situation as far as orangutans and rainforests are concerned is critical. The ever-increasing demand in developed countries for palm oil and timber is decimating the rainforests at a terrifying rate, and consequently its orangutan population and all life within the forests as well. If nothing is done to halt this devastation, the orangutan could be facing extinction in the wild within the next 10 years. http://www.opf.org/
National Geographic: Eye in the Sky DEFORESTATION AND FOREST HOLOCAUST The statistics paint a grim picture. According to the World Resources Institute, more than 80 percent of the Earth’s natural forests already have been destroyed. Up to 90 percent of West Africa’s coastal rain forests have disappeared since 1900. Brazil and Indonesia, which contain the world’s two largest surviving regions of rain forest, are being stripped at an alarming rate by logging, fires, and land-clearing for agriculture and cattle-grazing. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/eye/deforestation/effect.html
Fires raging in an Indonesian swamp forest may have killed a third of the rare Sumatran orangutans. About 200 still live there. Only 12,267 hectares (30,311 acres) of Tripa’s original 60,000 hectares (148,260 acres) of forest remain.The rest has been broken up and degraded as palm oil companies drain the swamp and terminate the life of the forests.
Over the last several decades, tropical forests have been cleared and degraded at an accelerating rate, with losses contributing to what is likely to be the sixth global mass extinction in Earth’s history. Deforestation refers to the replacement of forests with different land cover types such as crops or grassland, and forest degradation refers to the substantial reduction of biomass, usually by the removal of big trees, whilst retaining sufficient tree cover to still be classified as ‘forest’. Logging and fire are the major causes of forest degradation in the tropics. Between 2000 and 2005, roughly 27 million hectares of forest in the tropics were cleared, largely for timber or agricultural plantations or crops, and over much the same time period, approximately 398 million hectares were allocated to the industrial logging industry.
The loss and degradation of tropical forests is of great concern because these systems are among the most biodiverse places remaining on Earth - they provide habitat for many species, contain a rich array of plant and animal life not found elsewhere, and play a major role in regulating local as well as global climate and weather patterns. Large rainforest trees are often long lived, with ages commonly exceeding many hundreds of years. These big trees are important for ecosystem health, providing a source of seeds and fruits for species propagation, as well as habitat for a wide range of other organisms. Degradation of primary forest ecosystems, especially by logging, results not only in the disproportionate loss of large trees and the ecosystem functions they provide, but also causes substantial collateral damage to residual vegetation, carbon emissions, damage to soils and waterways, with repeated harvests resulting in progressive degradation. Intact forests, or forests that have not been degraded, are central to sustaining biodiversity.
The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak are global hotspots of tropical deforestation. These two states in the north of the island of Borneo are also centers of the tropical oil palm and industrial logging industries, with Sarawak in particular being the place of origin for many Malaysian logging companies that now operate in Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands, tropical Africa and Guyana, amongst other places. In many countries these companies are responsible for unsustainable harvesting and short-term profit maximization. Unsustainable and damaging logging practices, often followed by the conversion of logged forest to oil palm and timber plantations, are particular problems in Sabah and Sarawak.
In contrast to the situation in Sabah and Sarawak, the neighbouring petroleum-rich nation of Brunei has charted a different path, shunning wide-scale intensive logging and oil palm plantations in favor of preserving forest ecosystems. Given the known differences in agro-timber industries among these jurisdictions, it is timely to examine the condition of forests in these regions, and the outcome of the alternative forest-protecting pathway taken by Brunei.
The commercial shows a typical office setting. A worker sits drearily at a desk, shredding papers and watching minutes tick by on the clock. When his break comes, he takes out a Nestle KitKat bar.... "HAVE A BREAK?" AD GreenPeace Ad on Nestle's Use of Palm Oil In Their Products Have a break? on VIMEO http://vimeo.com/10236827
THIS MUST COME TO AN END - IT IS UNSUSTAINABLE, ANTI-LIFE AND SUICIDAL
Palm oil, usually produced from a species of palm tree originally from West Africa, has emerged over the past 30 years as one of the world’s most widely used—and controversial—crops. Palm oil goes into a range of products available in virtually every supermarket, pharmacy, and department store. It is used in roughly half of processed foods, ranging from crackers to peanut butter to ice cream; beauty products like shampoo, cosmetics, shaving cream, and soap (which account for nearly 10 percent of global consumption of palm oil); industrial lubricants; and even for biofuel production. Its versatility, combined with a yield far in excess of any other oilseed, has fueled its rapid expansion across southeast Asia: today, Indonesia and Malaysia—which account for 85 percent of global palm oil production—have more than 50,000 square miles of palm plantations, up from fewer than 580 square miles in 1984. But the crop’s success has come at a great environmental cost: more than half of the expansion since 1980 has come at the expense of natural forests. As such, palm oil has been targeted by environmentalists and scientists concerned about biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution. Furthermore, the palm oil industry has been challenged by land rights issues and social abuses, since expansion is occurring in areas where communities may traditionally use forests but lack title to land. New development in these areas spurs charges of land-grabbing and can exacerbate social conflict
April 19, 2013 Redd-Monitor.org - Three For The Price Of One CANADIAN MINING CORPORATION, EAST ASIA MINERALS IS "WORKING CLOSELY" WITH INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO DESTROY ACEH'S FORESTS FOR LOGGING, PALM OIL, MINING http://ow.ly/kfs44
This week, East Asia Minerals put out a press release announcing that the Ministry of Forestry is “close to accepting a proposal to open 1.2 million hectares of forest in Aceh province for mining, logging, and palm oil production”. This is, incidentally, the same Ministry of Forestry that told the UN Forum on Forests last week that the country was committed to extending the two-year moratorium on conversion of primary forests and peatlands. http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0419-gapki-interview.html
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