Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Papua New Guinea - Rapid deforestation

According to a new study, by the University of Papua New Guinea and the Australian National University, the forests of Papua New Guinea are being chopped down so quickly that more than half its trees could be lost by 2021. Papua New Guinea has the largest rainforest area in Asia-pacific region, with over 1200 species of trees (of which more than half is endemic), and it is the world's third largest tropical forest. Deforestation rate was about 362,000 hectares (895,000 acres) a year in 2001, and it isn't showing signs of slowing down.

Current trend of unsustainable industrial logging is destroying rainforest on Papua New Guinea, with almost any care for environmental consequences and possible negative impact on global warming. Since tropical rainforests absorb carbon dioxide, deforestation of tropical rainforests will drive global warming, causing more negative climate change effects.

In 1972, Papua New Guinea had 38m hectares (94m acres), of rainforest covering about 82% of the country but about 15% of that was cleared by 2002. Forests, especially rainforests are only nature answer against global warming and they need to be preserved. It is in our own very interest to preserve them as without forests we don't have any nature protection against global warming.

Papua New Guinea - Deforestation at critical level

In order to protect rainforests on Papua New Guinea government will have to show more political commitment for this problem, and will really have to put more emphasis on environmental laws. Current situation is anything but good, where timber companies many different environmental laws, and even caring very little for the rights of the local landholders in the process. New improved environmental laws should really be the first step in fight against this uncontrolled deforestation, and they will require bigger political activity.

Since now politicians have evidence of this uncontrolled deforestation they should really change their logging policies. Trees that have been cut need to be replaced as soon as possible because global warming impact will only become worse with time. However country does earn $176m from commercial logging each year, and this income could present real problem to any new forestry policies. But one thing is certain, if current rate of deforestation continues in Papua New Guinea, this beautiful country will be left in 50 years time only with scraps of forest inside national parks. And that definitely isn't the future that Papua New Guinea deserves.

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