Forests: a natural and economic resource that must be protected

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In Latin America deforestation does not stop, and countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru have lost their primary reserves in a worrying percentage

Forests: a natural and economic resource that must be protected

The land area of Latin America was 51.3% in 1990, and by 2015 it dropped to 46.4% in 2015, according to a report published by the United States Food and Agricultural Organization. Agriculture (FAO), called "The State of Forests in the World 2018". The data is a symptom of the little protection that forests have in this part of the world, which is an essential resource for the economy.

Leer en español: Los bosques: un recurso natural y económico que debe ser protegido

The figures are so worrisome that only two regions of the world, sub-Saharan Africa (with a decrease of 30.6 to 27.1%) and Southeast Asia (from 3.9 to 3.8%) have decreased the forest area in the same period of 25 years, indicated previously. That same report added that, in that period throughout the planet, the forest area decreased from 31.6 to 30.6%, with a period of slowing in recent years.

According to the interpretation that emerges from the said report, in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America regions, the extension of forests is compromised by the absence of charcoal. Precisely for that reason, we consider it convenient to argue the importance of the issue and what this can impact on the citizens of the world.

Read also: International Day of Forests: Why are they important?

Based on these numbers, it is crucial to value the work that the state has in the protection of its forests, especially in our continent, not forgetting that deforestation is the second cause of climate change and also represents emissions from greenhouse gases. Therefore, forests must be kept alive to help mitigate climate change.

Trees, as we learn from school, are the lungs for the planet, especially those from tropical climates, which inhale carbon dioxide, reducing its effect on human beings. In conclusion, a healthy and clean forest helps regulate climate and rainfall.

A healthy tree, a healthy forest, protects us from the different alterations that the climate presents, meaning floods, extensive droughts, and extreme storms, among other natural situations, and, even so, it continues deforesting and increasing CO2 emissions in the whole planet. The problem of climate change often starts from the indiscriminate felling of these natural resources.


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What should be done?

We are not experts in the subject, but we are aware of the care our forests need. It is necessary to identify the causes and the primary agents of deforestation and to enforce the social and environmental safeguards in each country, which we know present varied vegetations and natural resources.

In the case of Colombia, an alternative could be to strengthen the governance of ethnic groups and peasant communities, stop the advance of the agricultural frontier (which is not planned), promote or promote the use of timber and non-timber products, and also, to execute permanent control and monitoring actions.

12 million hectares have disappeared from the entire planet according to a world report published by the World Resources Institute (WRI), which indicates the decrease of tropical forests and a significant loss of forest globally, as pointed out in the same report, almost two million of those hectares belong to our continent.

It is a matter of urgency, do not forget that, in the aforementioned FAO report, it is indicated that in the world ranking of the 10 countries most affected by forest loss are four South Americans Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, being the Amazonian nation , the one that tops the list with 1 million 347 thousand 132 hectares disappeared in the last two years, Colombia the fourth place with 176 thousand 977, fifth Bolivia with 154 thousand 488 hectares; and seventh Peru, 140 thousand 185 of losses in hectares. Only among these four countries of South America has the forest reserve decreased by 1 million 818 thousand 782 hectares. It's time to do something. We can not waste more time nor more forests in Latin America.


LatinAmerican Post | Editorial Team

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