Near 5% of Earth’s old growth forests remain intact
and the clearing continues today.

“According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, the Amazon and the Congo are the only remaining continuous forests on Earth. Researchers at North Carolina State University used satellite imagery and forest fragmentation data to determine that approximately 20% of all forested lands on the planet are within 100 yards from the forest edge, and approximately 70% of such lands are within 0.5 miles from the forest edge.”
Global Forest Watch, News Roundup: Week of 4.10.2015

Loss of virgin forest is directly correlated with accelerating species extinction and global climate change. Human beings very simply must stop clearing forest communities if the desire is to survive and thrive.

Total loss of virgin forest to date is mind blowing, comprehended to a degree by those who have experienced virgin forest, and fully comprehended only by those who’ve existed and yet exist as members of the forest community.

Here’s -> a sequence of maps <- tracking loss
for what is now the United States.

Old growth forest loss represents more than a loss of carbon sequestering trees and soils. The loss is more clearly understood as the loss of whole communities and individuals existing collaboratively and synchronistically as part of a whole. The loss of relationships. The loss of children and elders of all walks, some with roots and branches, some with antlers and hooves, some with wings and claws. The loss of their biodiversity and, thus, the loss of social diversity.

The loss of real social security, which is basic to anyone’s survival. Because, if my money runs out, I will be ok so long as there is still water for drinking, roots for digging, and leaves for harvesting. And all the latter intact biodiverse community provides. And all the latter is discarded in the rush for gold and oil.

Humans have been and some remain active, beneficent participants in forest communities. The wholesale clearing of these forests as part of the industrial war and mass-production economy is the extreme opposite of what could still be this beneficent presence and what continues a beneficent presence among those who are devoted to protecting their communities. Everyone’s survival depends on peaceful resolution of human conflict given that the industrial war economy is not only merciless but plainly unaffordable.

Real social security found in protecting old growth forest and reviving forest communities is not realized in the creation of museum-like parcels preserved for a mere few humans to visit from time to time. Rather, real social security requires human beings engaged as full participants in balanced reciprocal relationships with all members of forest communities. As respectful and respected community members, humans are neither bystanders, directors, nor landlords.

While old-growth will not be revived within a 21st century child’s lifetime, the 21st century child can and rather must participate in seeding this revival. Humans are far from alone here, though pretending isolation has proven to create an isolated existence – inhumane cities absent of plants and farms absent of soils and pollinators. All this is far from healthy for humans. What is truly spiritually, physically, emotionally, vocationally, and socially healthy for human beings is healthy for the entire biodiverse community.

Extinction Witness extends gratitude to the following short list of groups and individuals, more or less familiar to us, who work tirelessly to protect and regenerate forest communities.


Forest Education / Protection / Regeneration:

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

Survival International &mdash global
global movement for tribal peoples' rights

TreeSisters — global / women’s empowerment
women as a force of nature, on behalf of nature

Women's Earth & Climate Action Network (WECAN) - Global

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