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  • Archive for October, 2014

    New images shed light on the rainforest’s people

    2014 - 10.30

    The UK’s Eden Project is playing host to a series of powerful photographs of the rainforest’s tribal people, taken by Cornish explorer and writer Robin Hanbury-Tenison and Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado.

    The collection of images – called ‘People of the Rainforest’ – have been put on display in the Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome. They were taken in the Amazon rainforest, Sumatra, Borneo and Malaysia, and have been chosen to remind Eden Project visitors of the reliance indigenous people have on forests as their homes and livelihood.

    An estimated 200 million people across the globe rely solely on forests and the Eden Project has worked to highlight this alongside Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights.

    Eden Project co-founder Sir Tim Smit wrote a letter to Robin Hanbury-Tenison suggesting that the themes of people and forests should be combined at the Cornish attraction.

    Mr Hanbury-Tenison said: “Tribal people are the best guardians of the environment. This is one of Survival’s main messages, because so many of the issues facing tribal people revolve around land rights.

    “By including images of tribal people within the rich and beautiful habitats of the tropical Biome at Eden, we should be able to get across this essential message, and spread the word that people and plants need each other .”

    Dr Jo Elworthy, director of Interpretation at the Eden Project, said: “We are well-known for our plants and this provides the opportunity to bring the vital stories of rainforest tribal peoples into the picture.”

    Companies such as Greenwood Management are recognising the importance of preserving the rainforest and assisting people like the individuals in these powerful images to continue their natural existence without intrusion by developing sustainable alternatives for wood sources.

    More carbon released by Brazilian deforestation than previously thought

    2014 - 10.15

    Significantly more carbon has been lost as a result of the deforestation of Brazil’s precious rainforests than previously thought.

    According to new research carried out by scientists at the Hemholtz Centre for Environmental Research, the impact of forest loss has thus far been underestimated in fragmented tree-covered areas, as it was impossible to work out the loss of the biomass at the forest edges. This in turn meant that the higher emission of carbon dioxide could not be accurately calculated.

    The forest fragmentation can result in up to a fifth more carbon being given off by the vegetation, the scientists confirmed. A new approach to the research saw the results from ecology, forest modelling and remote sensing integrated, with the percentage loss of carbon in forest edges modelled after the deforestation of the surrounding area.

    These losses were then analysed and compared to large, unchanged forests in the Amazon’s tropical rainforests and in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, Mata Atlântica.

    The outer edges of the forests were found to endure different climate conditions, including stronger rays from the sun and fiercer, more targeted winds. This means that the stress increases for trees in peripheral areas and some trees – especially the larger species – are killed off.

    Dr. Sandro Pütz, the main author of the study, told Click Green: “Tree mortality increases, so that they can’t store as much carbon as healthy trees in the centre of the forest, the core area.”

    With news like this, it is more important than ever to ensure that any work done in the Brazilian rainforest is sustainable and supports the environment – Greenwood Management is already playing its part in doing so and encourages other organisations to do the same.

    Forest fires on the rise in Brazil

    2014 - 10.01

    According to new research, the number of forest fires in Brazil rose by 160 per cent over the course of this month.

    The data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research revealed the significant increase following its use of new satellite data. It confirmed that there were 15,622 forest fires across Brazil over the course of September, a rise of 160 per cent on the same time period last year.

    The increase in the number of fires is thought to be down to a combination of agricultural techniques, which have seen trees cut down and burned in order to clear land, and lower levels of rain. Deforestation raises the exposure levels of the forest to the sun and wind, therefore increasing the risk of wildfires being able to spread quickly and easily through the forest.

    Climate change is to blame for the lower levels of regional precipitation, as it is tipped to warm the air by several degrees across the Amazon region.

    Following the findings, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) has suggested that efforts be made to construct natural firebreaks. The body has also urged land management courses to be given to local populations to ensure they understand how to treat the forest in order to avoid these devastating fires.

    The researchers also found that the state most affected by forest fires is Mato Grosso, swiftly followed by Para and Maranhao. These three states make up almost 44 per cent of all forest fire outbreaks during the course of this month.

    Forests are already forced to endure numerous threats such as fires and illegal logging, so it is vital that we all help to ensure their survival for generations to come, as ethical companies including Greenwood Management are already doing.