Rights and Resources Initiative, based in the US, says rising demand for food, fuel and wood threatens to destroy the world’s forests. It asserts large-scale deforestation would make climate change more severe and push billion of people who are dependent on forests further into poverty and cause war and conflict. It cautions that unless steps are taken, traditional forest owners and the forests themselves, will be the big losers.
China and India, countries with gigantic populations, have been blamed for causing the fuel price-hikes. Are they to be apportioned a share of the blame here, for they, too, have huge demand for food and wood. What is more important and meaningful here is for each of us as individuals to do our own little parts. Let us, ourselves, cut down on our use of fuel and our use of things made from wood, as well as, cutting down on our wastage on food consumption. We can do more walking, more cycling and use more public transport. We can help chop down less trees each year by cutting down on the use of paper. And we can reduce our demand for food by buying only what is necessary and when we order our food to order what we can finish. Yes, this is definitely what each of us can do to save the forests. The traditional forest owners and the forests are not the only losers, the whole human race will also lose. The world will become less habitable and our future generations will miss out on what the forests can offer.