Headline May 24, 2019/ '' 'NATURE'S GUARDIANS NEMESIS' ''


FOREST CONSERVATION will always feature permanently in The World Students Society's  scientific, thinking and political discourse.


Half from indigenous tribes in tropical forests - *were murdered in 2017* - according to watchdog group Global Witness.

''We have been guardians of our lands for millennia and have deep interaction with ecosystems where we live,'' said Lakpa Nuri Sherpa activist from eastern Nepal

''Our lands are among the most biodiverse on the planet.''

But nearly three-quarters of regions worldwide under indigenous stewardship have seen a decline in most measure of biodiversity and ecosystem health, one recent report found.

''The pressure on them continue to be enormous,'' Eduardo Brondizio, co-chair of the UN report and a professor of Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington told AFP.

''The global economy keeps pushing the boundaries of ''resource extraction'' deeper into indigenous territory, he said.
''Indigenous people have been retreating from those economic frontiers for 500 years, but get caught every time.

Globally, the pace of deforestation is staggering. Last Year, the tropics lost an almost the size of England, a total of 120,000 square kilometres [46,000 square miles].

Almost a third of that area, some 36,000 km2, were pristine primary rainforest.

In a historic perspective, rapid climate change and high air pollution levels require urgent investment in afforestation programmes. Deforestation is a major cause of erosion of ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and biodiversity.

Forests have direct and indirect linkages with nutrition and food security via wild tree fruits and fuel wood, making them an important instrument in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

In Proud Pakistan, the current government has initiated the ''10 Billion Tree Tsunami", which aims at rapid afforestation in all Pakistan's provinces.

Although it is a much needed programme, there are concerns regarding the sustainability and long -term viability of such initiatives. This is important given that other political parties do not have a great record of preserving the environment.

In 2,000 China launched its ''Sloped Land Conversion Programme" which paid farmers to convert cropland on hillsides with high-risk of soil erosion into forest, this lead to a whopping 18 per cent  [12 % annually increase in forest area in China.

Similarly, the Municipios Prioritarios programme in Brazil led to historic reductions in deforestation rates in the Amazon.

The programme incentivised farmers to divert investment from clearing new land for agriculture to capital investments in farming, this lead to an increase in agriculture productivity, suggesting that afforestation of agriculture land does not necessarily result in food-security concerns

Additionally, these programmes have also been shown to alleviate poverty by making the provisions of ecosystem services economically desirable for low-income landowners.

Be that it may, - in all reality, indigenous peoples, ''guardians of Nature,' are under a growing siege.

Timber Traffickers
In Brazil, home to nearly half of the world's plant and animal species - landowners fell multi-stories trees to make way for soya bean crops, rogue miners pollute rivers and timber traffickers steal valuable species.

''It is like using the goose that lays the golden eggs to make soup,'' said Braudizio.

The livestock industry is a double climate threat : it destroys forests to make way for grazing land and soy crops to feed cattle, and generates huge amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Extraction of industries of all kinds have found an ardent backer in far-right Jair Bolsonaro, who came into office in January.

''I am worried,'' said Brondizio, who is Brazilian, noting the weakening of environmental protections and an increase in the vilification of indigenous peoples.

Everywhere in the tropics, local populations that push back against big business and the backers are at risk.

More than 200 environmental campaigners - half from indigenous tribes in tropical forests - were murdered in 2017, according to watchdog group Global Witness.

''Our global home is under threat, and Nature is in decline, all driven by an economic and political system that favours increasing consumption and growth over living in harmony with Nature,'' said Aroha Te Pareake Mead, a member of the Ngati Awa Ngati Oorou Maori tribes in New Zealand.

So, to sum - to design and implement a long-term forest programme, forests and biodiversity conservation should feature permanently in the world's scientific and political discourse.

The implementation of such programmes can be challenging but the world cannot and should not  take its chances, of going forward, and expect a great future for its future generations.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all prepare for Great Global Elections and ''register'' on : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Tropical Forests '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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