“Since the start of the Industrial Revolution,
one-third of all carbon dioxide emissions
to the atmosphere from human activities
have come from deforestation.”
Forests are complex and collaborative communities, no more tree or carbon sequestration factories than women are baby factories or maids.
Yet, Earth’s remaining 5% old growth, aka virgin forest – “the most critical of all forest types” (1) - continues to be cleared for commodities, as trees are planted merely as products and carbon offsets in process of serving a few at everyone’s expense.
Loss of virgin forest is more than a loss of carbon sequestering trees and soils. This is the loss of whole communities. The loss of individuals and their relationships. The loss of biodiversity and, thus, the loss of social and cultural diversity.
And the loss of real social security basic to one’s survival. For, if the money runs out, one is ok so long as there is water for drinking, roots for digging, and leaves for harvesting. And all these vitals, intact biodiverse community provides in a co-creative process some call nature or life.
Real social security requires human beings engaged as full participants in balanced reciprocal relationships among all community members. Humans have been and some remain active, beneficent participants in forest communities. The wholesale clearing of forests as part of an industrial war and associated mass-production economy is the extreme opposite of what continues a beneficent presence among those who are devoted to collective vitality.
“The world’s tropical forests are threatened by deforestation due to agricultural,
industrial and urban expansion; as well as by drought, fire, and disease,
all worsened by climate change. Human reforestation efforts are limited
by budget and capacity, so the restoration of degraded habitats
by means of animal seed dispersal is essential to the future of global forests.”
Alexander Montoro, Seed dispersal by fruit-eating bats / MONGABAY
Along with the protection of remaining intact virgin forest, afforestation is a critical piece of the equation for reversing global warming and increasing biodiversity. Afforestation is not planting trees with intent to cut and sell them. When “created with purely economic motives and little regard for the long-term well-being of the land, environment, or surrounding communities ” (2), tree plantations perpetuate social inequality and manufacture refugees. Plantations do nothing but exacerbate the root injustice driving biodiversity loss and global warming. While humans are responsible for planting trees, other species, having long participated in the regeneration process, can also be encouraged to do their rightful work, aka natural jobs.
"No matter the diversity of beliefs, we all know we live in a world full of problems.
Yet, one of the biggest problems is that not enough of us realize that we also live in a
world full of solutions — and then live our lives as these solutions in
- Julia Butterfly Hill
What is truly spiritually, physically, emotionally, vocationally, and socially healthy for human beings is healthy for the entire biodiverse community. Please read and sign this Vow 2 Act signaling intent and committing in practice to peaceful coexistence.
Gratitude to the following short list of groups and individuals, working tirelessly to promote, protect, and regenerate forest communities. Here is to the day when protecting innocents from exploitation is once again unnecessary because everyone feels safe and secure. Godspeed.
Forest Education / Protection / Revival:
Afforestt – bringing forests back NOW.
Alianza Arkana — Peruvian Amazon
regenerating the Peruvian Amazon by supporting its indigenous people and their traditions
Call of the Forest — the forgotten wisdom of trees
a documentary that follows scientist and acclaimed author Diana Beresford-Kroeger as she investigates the profound biological and spiritual connection to forests in a global journey exploring the science, folklore, and restoration challenges of this essential eco-system, aka community.
Community Carbon Trees — Costa Rica
connecting local farmers with people all over the world
Heartwood — Eastern United States
people helping people protect the places they love
i Give Trees — Brazilian Amazon
community-grounded rainforest renewal
John Muir Project — United States
dedicated to protecting National Forests
Pachamama Alliance — global
protecting the source, inspiring the future
Rainforest Action Network – global
using people power to challenge business as usual
Rainforest Foundation UK – global
helping indigenous peoples and forest communities around the world
Survival International — global
global movement for tribal peoples' rights
TreeSisters — global
women seeding change
- “The most critical of all forest types is primary forest, known as old-growth or virgin forest. Examples include the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia and those of the Amazon and the Congo. With mature canopy trees and complex understories, these forests contain 300 billion tons of carbon and are the greatest repositories of biodiversity on the planet.” Project Drawdown / Forest Protection
- “Plantations comprise the majority of afforestation projects and are on the rise globally, planting trees for timber and fiber and, increasingly, carbon offsets. Plantations are controversial because they are often created with purely economic motives and little regard for the long-term well-being of the land, environment, or surrounding communities.” Project Drawdown / Afforestation
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