Deforestation by Lydia Bjornlund

By Lydia Bjornlund

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In the early 1990s, Canada and Malaysia were among the countries in which logging companies ruthlessly cleared thousands of miles of primary forests. In Vancouver Island, Canada, where forestry accounts for half the island’s income, entire mountains 37 Deforestation “ have been stripped of the forests that thrived there for centuries. Forestry is big business. In countries large and small, powerful multinational corporations are involved in harvesting and selling valuable hardwoods by clear-cutting the forests.

Scientists suggest that we have only scratched the surface in exploring the medicinal properties of many plant species. Less than 1 percent of tropical plants have been involved in laboratory experiments to deter- “ ” 55 Deforestation mine their potential as medicines. N. ”33 The Displacement of Indigenous Peoples “ Forests have been inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years, before the creation of most of today’s nations. Deforestation—particularly when it results from the granting of land to large logging or mining companies—results in the displacement of many of these people and threatens their cultural history.

Construction, furniture, and other uses has contributed has contributed to deforestation in the to deforestation Philippines, Malaysia, the Ivory Coast, in the PhilipNigeria, and Thailand. Of particular conpines, Malaysia, cern to environmentalists is the growing the Ivory Coast, demand for rare, exotic hardwoods that Nigeria, and are only found in intact tropical forests. Thailand. The demand for precious tropical hardwoods has multiplied nearly 25 times over the last 40 years. Currently, 99 percent of tropical hardwoods sold are taken from old-growth tropical rain forests.

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