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  • Archive for September, 2013

    Rainforest plants migrating to escape climate change

    2013 - 09.25

    The plants are “on the run”, says National Geographic, referencing the devastating impact that deforestation and climate change is having on the natural flora and fauna of the Amazon basin, and while some companies such as Greenwood Management are already working to halt the effects of deforestation, we all need to do our bit to help halt the destruction.

    Scientists have confirmed that plants are desperately trying to move to higher ground, where the air is cooler and they will be able to thrive more easily. According to Florida International University in Miami’s tropical biologist, Ken Feeley, “Most of these species are not going to be able to tolerate climate change, mostly because climate change is happening so fast.”

    Currently, an international group of scientists, called the Andes Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group, is hard at work in the Amazon basin, mapping one of the biggest ever field grids to show the rate of climate change in the area. Mr Feeley and his colleagues have spent 10 years researching the effect of climate change on the area, and confirmed that many tropical species are “frantically migrating upslope as they reproduce.”

    However, they may not be moving fast enough, he said. While some tropical Andean species of tree are moving up to 12 vertical feet each year on average, they need to move more than 20 vertical feet each year in order to reach their ideal temperatures at which they can thrive.

    Amongst the plants that are in major trouble include the ficus, which is migrating less than five vertical feet annually. The scientists predict that over half of tropical species could die off by 2100 or sooner if average temperatures increase by seven degrees Fahrenheit, as is predicted. If temperatures go even higher, coupled with the ongoing threat of deforestation, plant extinctions could reach a shocking 90 per cent, National Geographic confirmed.

    Peru aims for zero deforestation within next decade

    2013 - 09.04

    The Peruvian Government has confirmed its belief that it can achieve zero deforestation over the next decade, with funding from Western Governments.

    The country is planning to announce its proposal at the next UN talks on climate change, which are due to be held in Poznan, Poland. Peru has the fourth largest area of tropical forest in the world with only Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia having more than its 70 million hectares.

    The vast majority – more than 80 per cent – of the primary forest in Peru can be saved or protected, the Government has confirmed.

    Peru’s Environment Minister, Antonio Brack, told the BBC: “We are not a poor country going to the Poznan meeting begging for aid. We are an important country with a large area of forest that has a value.”

    Mr Brack said that Peru needs around £17 million each year for the next decade in order to be able to protect at least 54 million hectares of forest. This could eventually rise to as much as 60 million hectares, Brack added. The areas slated for protection include 17 million hectares of existing national parks, along with 12 million for Peru’s 42 indigenous groups, 5 million for eco-tourism and 21 million for sustainable forestry development.

    While WWF in Peru has praised the plans to protect the forests, it has also voiced some concerns over the feasibility. “Given continued immigration, agricultural expansion, plans for biofuels and plantations, and the effects of new roads, guaranteeing zero deforestation in 10 years is very ambitious,” WWF’s Fred Prins told the news source.

    Aiming high in the fight against deforestation is key and its never too late to do your bit. Ethical companies such as Greenwood Management are already committed to lowering the rate of deforestation across the globe, so jump on board and help to ensure that the forests and the wildlife that call them home are protected.