Do Your Cookies and Shampoo Contain “Deforestation?”

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Forests are being cleared at an alarming rate to make room for new palm oil plantations. Take action!

Palm oil is used in thousands of products we use every day, from baked goods to shampoo.

Unfortunately, palm oil is produced at a tremendous expense to our planet’s forests.

These forests are being cleared at an alarming rate to make room for new palm oil plantations.

This deforestation causes about 15 percent of global warming emissions worldwide!

The good news is that we have the power to change this story.

Businesses can grow palm oil on degraded land instead of forested land and existing plantations can increase crop yields to avoid the need to further expand into forests.

In June, the U.S. government announced a new joint initiative with the Consumer Goods Forum to make ingredients like palm oil deforestation-free.

Please urge the CEOs of Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods to ensure all the products made or sold by member companies globally are deforestation-free.

Please sign this petition to save wildlife:http://theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/campaign.faces?siteId=3&campaign=UnionOfConcernedScientists-Deforestation&ThirdPartyClicks=ETA_020713_UnionOfConcernedScientists-Deforestation_F

The Sumatran Orangutan: Ending Palm Oil Deforestation

Published on 23 May 2012

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Striking Examples of deforestation from NASA

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Photo: Courtesy of NASA. Source: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). From Africa Atlas of our Changing Environment (2008); Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA), UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya.

Deforestation in Niger

Pctured here is the Baban Rafi Forest, which NASA calls the most significant piece of woodland in the Maradi Department of Niger. This area is located on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in Africa. On the left is Jan. 12, 1976. On the right, Feb. 2, 2007. NASA points out that the darker green areas in the 1976 photo represent the natural landscape of savannah and Sahelian vegetation. In the 2007 photo, these areas are greatly reduced, largely because the population in the area quadrupled. Agricultural demands are a major reason deforestation has increased so dramatically in the past decades. As in the case here, farmers often use these lands at near-continual production, giving the land virtually no time to recover its fertility.

Deforestation in Haiti

Here we see the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. On the left is Dec. 28, 1973. On the right is a snapshot taken Jan. 22, 2010. These photos perhaps best exemplify the political and economic strife that can exacerbate deforestation in a region. In the 2010 image, you can see significant deforestation on the Haiti side, with less occurring in the Dominican Republic. Often, the worst examples of deforestation often occur in areas in desperate need of political stability, as rising populations and unstable economies can lead to a greater encroachment on undeveloped lands. NASA calls Haiti embroiled in crisis “without parallel,” plagued by both a 2004 political coup against then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the more recent devastating earthquake of 2010 that killed more than 300,000 people.

Deforestation in Paraguay

There are two different kinds of rain forest, temperate and tropical. Both rain forests are notable for having a high accumulation of rainfall when compared to plant growth. Temperate rain forests generally have a lower rate of evaporation and cooler temperatures. They are much rarer and occur in coastal regions at 37-60° latitude. Both kinds of rain forests are found on every continent except Antarctica, and only 50 percent of these forests remain on Earth.
Here we see part of the South American Atlantic Forest, which NASA calls one of the most threatened tropical rain forests on Earth. On the left is Feb. 23, 1973. On the right is Jan. 10, 2008. In almost three decades, the forest has been cut down to only 7 percent of its original size. The forest runs along the Atlantic coast through parts of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. However, it is the Paraguay part of the forest that has been most decimated. Tropical rain forests of our planet play a key part in cooling the planet. And this is not just South America’s problem. “Tropical deforestation will disrupt rainfall pattern far outside the tropics, including China, northern Mexico, and the south-central United States,”writes NASA.

Chimp champ Goodall crusades against deforestation

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RIO DE JANEIRO: Even in the veritable tower of Babel that is the United Nations’ largest-ever conference, it’s safe to assume that Jane Goodall was the only one speaking chimpanzee.

“Ooh, ooh, ooh, ah, ah,” the iconic British conservationist chanted into the microphone, delivering a series of melancholic bursts she said roughly translated as “please help.”

“I think that’s what chimpanzees would be saying if they could articulate it that way,” Goodall told participants at a meeting Thursday of the conservationist umbrella group Avoided Deforestation Partners. The event took place on the margins of the U.N.’s Rio+20 mega-conference on sustainable development, which has drawn an estimated 50,000 diplomats, environmentalists, policy makers and concerned citizens from across the globe to Rio de Janeiro.

The world’s forests are among the crucial, life-sustaining environmental systems scientists say are teetering on the brink of a tipping point. The U.N.’s Environment Program warned earlier this month that the planet’s systems, which also include air, land and oceans “are being pushed towards their biophysical limits,” after which sudden and catastrophic changes could ensue.

Environmentalists had cast Rio+20 as the last, best chance to avert such a scenario, and the event attracted a host of high-profile personalities, including Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and media mogul Ted Turner, who urged policy makers to take action on their pet causes. But the three-day conference was beset by bickering between rich and poor countries, and environmental protection groups have lashed out in chorus against the event’s final document, which they say is grossly inadequate.

Goodall, a Cambridge University-trained ethnologist who’s among the top advocates for the chimps she has studied for more than half a century, spoke movingly of the deforestation that has encroached on Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, where she began studying chimps. The chimpanzee population of equatorial Africa once numbered in the millions, but deforestation and other threats have slashed their numbers to an estimated 170,000-300,000, making the chimp an endangered species. 

Goodall said a recent flight over Gombe, a tiny 30-square-mile sliver of a park perched on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, brought the devastation of the surrounding landscape into sharp relief.

“The trees were gone, the hills were bare,” she said. Outside the park, trees had been cut down by the impoverished locals for firewood and for plots of land on which to eke out a living.

She said both the kind of “desperate poverty” that surrounds Gombe and, on the other end of the spectrum, the unquenchable appetites for consumer goods in wealthy countries, were to blame for deforestation.

“The unsustainable lifestyles of those not living in poverty is leading to the actions … of the big mining companies, the big petroleum companies and the big logging companies” — the enemies of forests worldwide, she said. 

Read the rest of this story:- http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/environment/flora-fauna/chimp-champ-goodall-crusades-against-deforestation/articleshow/14354346.cms

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