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What is a forest?

The forest is a complex ecosystem consisting mainly of trees that buffer the earth and support a myriad of life forms. The trees help create a special environment which, in turn, affects the kinds of animals and plants that can exist in the forest. Trees are an important component of the environment. They clean the air, cool it on hot days, conserve heat at night, and act as excellent sound absorbers. Plants provide a protective canopy that lessens the impact of raindrops on the soil, thereby reducing soil erosion. The layer of leaves that fall around the tree prevents runoff and allows the water to percolate into the soil. Roots help to hold the soil in place. Dead plants decompose to form humus, organic matter that holds the water and provides nutrients to the soil. Plants provide habitat to different types of organisms. Birds build their nests on the branches of trees, animals and birds live in the hollows, insects and other organisms live in various parts of the plant. They produce large quantities of oxygen and take in carbon dioxide. Transpiration from the forests affects the relative humidity and precipitation in a place. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) has defined forest as land with tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10% and area of more than 0.5 hectare. The trees should be able to reach a minimum height of 5 m at maturity in situ. Forests are further subdivided into plantations and natural forests. Natural forests are forests composed mainly of indigenous trees not deliberately planted. Plantations are forest stands established by planting or seeding, or both, in the process of afforestation or reforestation. Forests can develop wherever the average temperature is greater then 10 C in the warmest month and rainfall exceeds 200 mm annually. In any area having conditions above this range there exists a variety of tree species grouped into a number of forest types that are determined by the specific conditions of the environment there, including the climate, soil, geology, and biotic activity. Forests can be broadly classified into types such as the taiga (consisting of pines, spruce, etc.), the mixed temperate forests (with both coniferous and deciduous trees), the temperate forests, the sub tropical forests, the tropical forests, and the equatorial rainforests. The six major groups of forest in India are moist tropical, dry tropical, montane sub tropical, montane temperate, sub alpine, and alpine. These are subdivided into 16 major types of forests. India has a long history of traditional conservation and forest management practices. Under British rule, forest management systems were set in place mainly to exploit forests. Nonetheless, there were some attempts to conserve forests and meet the needs of local communities. The Indian National Forest Policy of 1894 provided the impetus to conserve Indias forests wealth with the prime objectives of maintaining environmental stability and meeting the basic needs of the fringe forests user-groups. Consequently, forests were classified into four broad categories, namely forests for preservation of environmental stability, forests for providing timber supplies, forests for minor forest produce, and pasture lands. While the first two categories were declared as reserve forests, the rest were designated as protected forests and managed in the interests of the local communities Soon after independence, rapid development and progress saw large forest tracts fragmented by roads, canals, and townships. There was an increase in the exploitation of forest wealth. In 1950 the Government of India began the annual festival of tree planting called the Vanamahotsava. Gujarat was the first state to implement it. However, it was only in the 1970s that greater impetus was given to the conservation of India's forests and wildlife. India was one of the first countries in the world to have introduced a social forestry programme to introduce trees in non-forested areas along road sides, canals, and railway lines.
Forests are ecosystems; a dynamic, constantly changing community of living things, interacting with non-living components. Forests are valued on social, environmental, cultural and economic factors, and are used, loved and appreciated by most people.

What is a Forest?
Download a printer-ready PDF version of this page The term 'forest' is used for areas where trees grow more than two metres tall and shade more than 20% of the ground. Trees may be the first things you see when you visit a forest, but they are only one part of a complex ecosystem - a community of life forms which depend on each other to make best use of available water and nutrients. Forests are one of the earths most important natural resources. These are just some of the vital roles they play:

Providing a habitat for all the living things contained within them. Apart from trees, a forest is made up of its soil, water, other plants, insects, reptiles and amphibians, birds and mammals. Every living thing in the forest is dependent on other living things in the forest for its survival. Providing shelter, food and warmth for human beings. Providing employment and useful products. Being a precious environment for us to enjoy. Ensuring that water, minerals, gases and trace elements stored in vegetation and the soil are recycled to maintain soil fertility. Forming soil and providing protection from soil erosion. Protecting water supplies and improving water quality. Water is filtered by the soil and vegetation of the forest, and sediments and pollutants are removed before the water runs into rivers or underground water tables. Storing carbon and helping to reduce the effects of global warming.

Fear of poisoning began in ancient times. Some of the classical writers believed that nearly all mushrooms were poisonous. One suggested that they somehow store pollutants from the soil, while another suggested they are infected with the noisome breath of serpents. Folklore is full of tips on how to tell the good kinds from the bad and all of them are rubbish. One sign of toxicity, they say, is a bright colour, especially red, and also an evil-looking pointed cap. Poisonous mushrooms, they say, will turn a silver-spoon black. Supposedly mushrooms that grow on wood are safe. At least one isn't. Its playful name is "funeral bell" and it is a killer. Perhaps the most persistent of all these fables is that, if you can peel the skin off a mushroom, you are safe. No you aren't. The appropriately named death cap peels beautifully (and, apparently, tastes quite nice). There is only one reliable way to tell if a mushroom is good to eat identify it correctly. If there is a shred of doubt, don't eat it. Better safe than sick.

Parasols. The first thing for even an amateur mushroom hunter to remember is to avoid parasol-shaped mushrooms, or mushrooms that look like wide-open umbrellas with white rings around the stem and white, milky gills. These mushrooms, especially brightly colored

and spotted parasols, may be Amanitas, mushrooms full of one of nature's deadliest poisons. False Morels. Another type of mushroom to avoid are so-called "false morels." If you see a mushroom with wrinkled, irregular caps that look like brain coral or saddles, with a bottom edge that hangs free around the base, avoid it I was once told this by a wild mushroom enthusiast with whom I gathered and ate mushrooms with on more than one occasion. With the cap type mushrooms, break off the stem and place the cap on a white piece of paper, then cover it with a bowl. After 15 minutes, remove the bowl and the cap. If there are spores on the white paper, then the mushroom is safe to eat. If not, throw it away.
Common Characteristics of a Poisonous Mushroom A poisonous mushroom may have some, one or all of these characteristics. -Warts or Scales on the cap, that look like colored patches. -A cap that is umbrella or parasol shaped. -A bulbous or round ball at the base that may or may not be underground. -A white spore print. (See how to obtain this below.) -A ring around the stem. -White thin gills -It's small and brown


The cap is the top part of the mushroom. Its size, shape, and color and texture (for example, warty, scaly, slimy, or smooth) all play a part in proper identification.


Stem thickness, shape, texture, color, and how the stem attaches to the cap are also useful in identifying mushroom species.
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The underside of mushroom caps can have gills, or be spongy, veined, smooth, and even spiked. The color of the underside can be helpful in distinguishing some similar species apart.


When mushrooms are cut into or bruised, the flesh may either stay the same color, or darken around the knife-cut or bruised area shortly after exposed to air.

Spore print

Mushrooms reproduce by making tiny spores. The color of spores can sometimes help determine an edible mushrooms species from a similar-looking inedible one. Spore prints are made by cutting the cap away from the mushroom and setting it for several hours on top of a white or black sheet of paper.

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I was once told this by a wild mushroom enthusiast with whom I gathered and ate mushrooms with on more than one occasion. With the cap type mushrooms, break off the stem and place the cap on a white piece of paper, then cover it with a bowl. After 15 minutes, remove the bowl and the cap. If there are spores on the white paper, then the mushroom is safe to eat. If not, throw it away.

There are many treasures in the forest, the tress where many things came from; such as the logs that are use for different wood-works, the different plants that provide foods and medicines as well as the wild animals. Some people rely on the forest for their income source as forest provides valuable products. The forest is consists of different layers of plants; these layers are the Canopy layer, Middle layer and the Forest Floor layer. The Canopy layer is the uppermost layer. It consists of the branches and the leaves of the tallest tress in the forest. These are the plants that receive more sunlight coming from the sun. The Middle layer is mostly consists of trees as well as shrubs and herbs. The first Floor layer is the bottom layer of the forest and is composed mostly of moss. There are different kinds of animals that are found in each of these layers of the forest. The birds, the insects as well as the other animals are mostly feed with the leaves and fruits of the plants belonging to the Canopy layer. Some animals are feed on the shrubs and herbs and some others feed on other animals meat. On the other hand, some microorganisms such as bacteria are feed on the waste and remains of dead plants and animals that accumulates on the floor of the forest. The microorganisms will eventually return the nutrients into the soil and to the air in the process of decomposition. These nutrients will be used again by the plants in making food. The plants greatly depend on the sun's energy as well as in the inorganic nutrients and carbon dioxide to be able for them to make their own food and survive. The animals eat this plants as well as the meat of other animals to get the energy in order for them to grow and to live. When the plants and animals die, their dead bodies will be consumed by the microorganisms and eventually turn it into nutrients once again which will be use by the other plants. This is how the energy flows inside the forest. One of the global environmental problems is the elimination of the forest areas throughout the world. This is because of logging and clearing giving way to the economical needs of the people. As result, flash floods in lowland areas occur as well as other problems such as global warming and climate change. With this, people should consider the importance of forest to our environmental system. Forest is a part of a natural system and its destruction is a destruction of the entire system.

Ways you can help save the rainforest and be environmentally responsible
c2001 2012

In The Home Recycle everything you can: newspapers, cans, glass bottles and jars, aluminum foil, motor oil, scrap metal, etc. Investigate local recycling centers that take items your garbage hauler does not. Try to use phosphate-free laundry and dish soaps. Use cold water in the washer whenever possible. Don't use electrical appliances for things you can easily do by hand, like opening cans. Re-use brown paper bags to line your trash can instead of plastic liners. Re-use bread bags, butter tubs, etc. Store food in re-usable containers, instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Save wire coat hangers and return them to the dry cleaners. Take unwanted, re-usable items to a charitable organization or thrift shop. Don't leave water running needlessly. Install a water-saving shower head. Set your water heater at 130 degrees. Have your water heater insulated free of charge by your utility company. Turn your heat down, and wear a sweater. Lower your thermostat by one degree per hour for every hour you'll be away or asleep. Turn off the lights, TV, or other electrical appliances when you're out of a room. Get a free energy audit from your utility company. Burn only seasoned wood in your woodstove or fireplace... and don't light them as often. IN YOUR YARD Start a compost pile. Put up birdfeeders, birdhouses, and birdbaths. Pull weeds instead of using herbicides. Use only organic fertilizers... they're still the best. Compost your leaves and yard debris, or take them to a yard debris recycler. (Burning them creates air pollution, and putting them out with the trash wastes landfill space.) Use mulch to conserve water in your garden. Take extra plastic and rubber pots back to the nursery.

Plant short, dense shrubs close to your home's foundation to help insulate your home against cold. WHILE ON VACATION Turn down the heat and turn off the water heater before you leave. Carry reusable cups, dishes, and flatware. Make sure your trash doesn't end up in the ocean... don't litter beaches. Don't pick flowers or keep wild creatures for pets... leave plants and animals where you find them. Don't buy souvenirs made from wild or endangered animals. Watch out for wildlife... give consideration to all living things you see crossing the road. Build smaller campfires, and make sure they're completely out before you leave. Stay on the trail... don't trample fragile undergrowth. IN YOUR CAR Keep your car tuned up. Carpool, if possible. Use public transit whenever possible. On weekends, ride your bike or walk instead. Buy a more fuel efficient model when you're ready for a new car. Recycle your engine oil. Keep your tires properly inflated to save gas. Keep your wheels properly aligned to save your tires. (It's safer too.) Don't litter our roads and highways... save trash and dispose of it at a rest stop. AT WORK Recycle office and computer paper, cardboard, etc. whenever possible. Use scrap paper for informal notes to yourself and others. Print things like in-house memo pads, etc., on recycled paper. Print or copy on both sides of the paper. Use smaller paper for smaller memos. Re-use manila envelopes and file folders. Hide the throw-away cups, and train people to use their washable coffee mugs. Use washable mugs for meetings too. Route around the office or post non-urgent communications ... instead of making multiple copies.

Use the stairs instead of the elevator on trips of less than three floors... it's better for you too. When You're Shopping.. Avoid buying food or household products in plastic or styrofoam containers whenever possible. (They can't be recycled, and don't break down in the environment.) Think twice about buying "disposable" products. (They really aren't disposable and are extravagant wastes of the world's resources.) Buy paper products instead of plastic if you must buy "disposables." They break down better in the environment and don't deplete the ozone layer as much. Check the energy rating of major appliances you purchase. Buy only the most energy-efficient models. Ask questions... don't buy products, such as styrofoam, that are hazardous to the environment or manufactured at the expense of important habitats such as rain forests. Buy locally-grown food and locally-made products when possible. Don't buy products made from endangered animals. PERSONAL THINGS Join a conservation organization. Volunteer your time to conservation projects. Give money to conservation projects. Spread the Word Convert by example... encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to save resources too. Learn about conservation issues in your community or state... write your legislators and let them know where you stand on the issues. Teach children to respect nature and the environment. Take them on hikes, or camping. Help them plant a tree or build a birdhouse. Teach them by example.

1. Use less paper and card. Using less paper means fewer trees being cut down for paper uses. Try using tree free paper if it is available. It should specify on the package. When going on a picnic, bring napkins that are made out of tree free paper. If you must bring regular, grab only one at a time, not a handful. Also remember to reuse and recycle glass and plastic bottles or items whenever you can.

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Eat less red meat. For every quarter pound hamburger that is found in fast food restaurants, 55 square ft of Rain Forest is destroyed. That's about the size of a small kitchen! The rain forest land gets turned into grazing pasture for cows. These cows are butchered and are made into meat products. When ordering food from a menu, help your family choose healthy and vegetarian based items instead of meat.

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Research an animal or plant to learn more about it and why its becoming endangered. Then do your part to help it in any way you can.

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Encourage a friend or family member to organize a lemonade stand, bake sale, or a talent show to help raise money for a funding organization.

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Write a letter to your local zoo to find out if they have any suggestions or ideas for you to help save the rain forest plants and animals.

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Don`t make fire in the forest.It`s dangerous.

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Don`t hunt in the forest.

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Donate money to rain forest protection service.

Ten Ways to Preserve Our Forests

First published in Corporate Knights, 2005 "At first I thought I was fighting to save the rubber trees; then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I realize I am fighting for humanity." - Chico Mendes, 1944-1988 1. Protect More Ancient Forests Eight thousand years ago, large areas of the world were covered with ancient forest. As we started to farm, we cut them down for firewood, to build houses, and then to make ships, and charcoal for our growing industries. Today, as the worlds demand for timber and paper continues to grow, almost 80% of the original ancient forests have been logged or degraded, and we are losing an additional 13 million hectares a year, an area

the size of Greece. As we lose the forest, we also lose the habitat for many species, including human tribes. We must do whatever we can to protect the remaining ancient forest, both worldwide, and in Canada. See and 2. Use Ecoforestry in All Secondary Forests In Switzerland, they banned clearcut logging centuries ago, when they recognized how it destroyed the soil. Here in Canada, however, clearcutting is still practiced quite widely. In 73 countries around the world, including Canada, a new standard of socially responsible, ecologically sensitive forestry is being embraced by some companies, landowners, and First Nations that protects the forests while their trees are being harvested, and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). With good ecoforestry, the forest will yield more timber of higher commercial value over the long term, while protecting the forests ecosystem. See 3. Support Canadas National Forest Strategy Canada has a roadmap which can hopefully guide our countrys forestry policies, research, and logging practices towards progressive, ecosystem-based forest management. It is called the National Forest Strategy, and has been developed in true Canadian style with input from many stakeholders, including the provinces, environmental groups, and First Nations. Every five years, it is updated and renewed. It has a brand new best practices section, most of which happen to have been FSC certified. See and ests 4. Ban the Import of Illegally Logged Timber For every mahogany tree in the tropics that is found and illegally cut down, a bulldozer smashes its way through 60 other trees, all for that lovely shine that looks so good on the furniture when the guests come to visit. Greenpeace estimates that 90% of the timber produced in the Amazon is of illegal origin, fuelled by bribes, corruption, and intimidation. The World Bank estimates that the global trade in illegal timber is worth $15 billion a year, with the US as the largest consumer, spending $3.8 billion a year. One of the solutions is to develop strong federal legislation, banning its import, to discourage illegal logging in forest areas where timber harvesting is strictly prohibited. See 5. Use Less Paper and Wood If you buy it, they will log. The more we buy, the more they log. To reduce our demand, we can avoid using paper napkins, plates, cups, and bags. We can buy paper made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper, or from hemp, and be sure to recycle all our

waste paper. We can try to buy FSC certified wood when we need timber, or seek out recycled lumber from house deconstructions. We can remember that wood and paper are not just stuff: they are made from the living fabric of our planet, home to a myriad creatures. 11% of the lumber that is cut each year in the US is used to make 400 million wooden pallets, that end up in bonfires or in the landfill. That much timber could build 300,000 houses. We should ban all wood waste from our landfills, and encourage the careful deconstruction of unwanted houses, instead of demolition. See 6. Eat Less Beef North Americas insistent demand for hamburgers, steak, and dog food sends a very clear message to the farmers of Central America, and Brazil, who clear the forest to make way for their cattle ranches. In Brazils Amazon rainforest, for every cow, 2.5 acres of forest disappear; for every quarter pound hamburger from a cleared rainforest, fifty-five square feet of rainforest is destroyed. A vegan, who eats no meat, fish, or dairy products, needs 1/6th of an acre for his or her annual food needs. A vegetarian needs half an acre. A meat-eater needs three acres, and increasingly, some of this comes from cleared rainforests. We can scoff our steaks, or we can keep our rainforests; but it seems we cant have both. See 7. Invest in Rainforest Communities Nearly 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been deforested, and forest scientists are saying that if it reaches a 40% level of deforestation, the forest will enter a process of desertification that is irreversible. The Rainforest Action Network, based in San Francisco, has a Protect-an-Acre program which provides funding to help forest peoples gain legal recognition of their territories. It also helps them to develop locallybased economic alternatives, and resist intrusions by the loggers and oil companies, who are after their land. This is a very specific initiative that you can support now, that will have a specific impact. See 8. Support the Activists In 1993, when the BC government announced that it would allow forest companies to log 62% of the forest in Clayoquot Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, there was such an uproar that 12,000 citizens attended a summer long road blockade, and 850 people were arrested for peaceful civil disobedience. The protests worked, though not fully; the government backed off, and endorsed an ecosystem-based approach that has reduced the amount of logging taking place. Without activism, nothing happens. The destructive logging continues, and the worlds forests continue to fall.

Friends of Clayoquot Sound: Rainforest Action Network: Sierra Club: 9. Act on the Solutions to Global Climate Change Whats climate change got to do with the forests? Everything, alas. In central British Columbia, the mountain pine beetle is completely out of control, because its larvae are putting on suntan oil in winter, instead of dying. In the Amazon, climate scientists fear that the forest will begin to dry out by 2040, due to changes in ocean temperatures which will alter the normal storm tracks. When the forests can no longer store carbon, weve got an even greater climate problem. In other words, if we want to protect the Earths forests, we must take climate change extremely seriously, both personally, nationally, and globally. 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change: 10. Act on the Solutions to Global Poverty Heres the problem. Injes Juma and his friends are poor, illiterate, and theyve got families to feed. They live in Malawi, where the forest is full of 30 foot tall masuku trees. A whole tree, if they fell it and cut it into logs, will bring 2,000 kwacha ($18) for sale as firewood or charcoal. We have no money to raise our families. We have nowhere to run, nothing else to do. So we have to cut the trees to feed our families. Two thirds of Malawis people earn less than a dollar a day. Malawi, like so many developing countries, needs a comprehensive new deal. It needs an end to its $3 billion debt, the repayment of which devours 21% of the governments income. It needs an end to corruption. It needs land reform, support for local agriculture, microlending schemes, sustainable forest businesses, and all the other initiatives that can make a difference. We cant turn our backs on countries like Malawi, and expect the forest to survive. Its all tied together.
5 Lessons from the World Forest Summit On March 5-6, I attended the World Forest Summit, run by The Economist magazine. At the event, leaders from the private sector, research organizations, NGOs, and government considered these questions and identified common ground to preserve and support forests worldwide. The discussion highlighted five lessons that are critical for properly managing and protecting global forests. 1) Understand the Value of Forests At the heart of the deforestation problem lies the fact that forests are often seen only for their immediate market value. There is a failure to recognize the wealth of services they provide at no costfrom carbon sequestration and water filtering to food and recreation. However, deriving economic value for forest services is not easy, as it requires fundamentally changing how we incorporate ecosystem services into the current economic model. Markets for ecosystem services have emerged over the past decade, but growth has been slow. We must find ways to better communicate the economic value of our forests. In the meantime, we can focus on global commodities and the actors that cause deforestation and degradation through their supply chains.

2) Manage Forests for the People and with the People Even if forests are managed to maximize their long-term economic value, how do we make sure forest-dependent communities receive the benefits? We must recognize the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples and involve them in the decision-making processes that affect the forests they directly depend on for their livelihoods. These groups have a close relationship with forests and can be effective leaders in forest conservation. For example, some communities in Latin America are actively monitoring their forests and halting illegal logging. 3) Halt the Illegal Timber Trade The forest industry can and should be part of the deforestation solution. Demand for sustainably produced forest products will create an incentive to properly manage forests and preserve forested lands. Stronger legal frameworks in the forest sector are a good first step, and an increased demand for legal forest products in the global marketplaceas illustrated by the amendment of the U.S. Lacey Act and the passage of the European Timber Regulationis a positive development. However, enforcement of these regulations is critical. Its important to minimize the transactional cost for companies who play by the rules and ease the confusion brought by many legality requirements. 4) Find Opportunities in Restoration Forest restoration offers tremendous opportunities to counteract deforestation and generate additional benefits. As much as 1 billion hectares of cleared and degraded forests can be restored back to forests and other productive landscapes like forest plantations or agroforestry systems. Forest restoration efforts can be carried out with and for local people while delivering economic and social benefits. For example, the African Re-greening Initiative work with an increasing number of farmers in Africa to protect and manage natural regeneration of trees to build agroforestry systems. 5) Develop New Partnerships for Forests New alliances with actors inside and outside the forest sector will be needed to successfully preserve forests, as the main drivers of deforestation lie outside the forests in many cases. The forest products, agricultural, mining, infrastructure, pharmaceutical, and financial industries, along with civil society organizations and governments, all depend on forests and thus, have a role to play. Inspiring examples of this multi-stakeholder approach are emerging, such as the Canadian Boreal Forest Initiative (a collaboration between NGOs and forest industries) and from the Consumer Goods Forums pledge to achieve zero net deforestation in their supply chains by 2020. - See more at:

For the conservation of forests, following steps can be taken: (a) Conservation of forest is a national problem so it must be tackled with perfect coordination between forest department and other departments. (b) People's participation in the conservation of forests is of vital importance. So, we must get them involved in this national task. (c) The cutting of trees in the forests must be stopped at all costs. (d) Afforestation or special programmes like Van Mahotsava should be launched on grand scale.

(e) Celebrations of all functions, festivals should precede with tree-plantation. (f) Cutting of timber and other forest produce should be restricted. (g) Grasslands should be regenerated. (h) Forest conservation Act 1980 should be strictly implemented to check deforestation. (i) Several centres of excellence have been setup and awards should be instituted.

Forests - the problems

We are destroying ancient forests at an unprecedented rate. As demand for anything made from wood increases - whether it's books, furniture, construction materials or even toilet paper - we risk stripping away the last remaining ancient forest areas.

Disappearing forests What is it like to have your home destroyed? Watch the video Find out where the main areas of remaining forest are Launch the map Extinction threatens many species of wildlife, particularly larger animals such as tigers, grizzly bears and gorillas that need large intact forest areas to survive. In addition, the rights of traditional landowners are being abused as they are evicted from the lands they have occupied for generations, often as a result of violence and intimidation. Sixty million indigenous people depend on forests for their survival, while a further 1.6 billion make their livelihoods from forest products.

Destructive and illegal logging

More and more areas of pristine forest are being cut down to feed timber and paper mills around the world - an area the size of a football pitch disappears every two seconds. Much of this

logging is destructive and can also be illegal, particularly in poorer countries where corruption, weak governance, and a lack of money make it difficult for the authorities to police and enforce the law.

Deforestation is also being driven by another human factor - agriculture. Ancient rainforests are being cleared to open up new land for crops such as soya and palm oil, which are grown on an industrial scale to supply the growing demand from food companies across the world, including the UK. The land is often stolen from the people who live there, and in the Amazon farms in cleared areas of forest still use slave labour.

Climate change
From storing carbon to recycling water into the atmosphere, it's increasingly clear that ancient forests play a critical role in the regulation of the global climate while their destruction is a major contributor to climate change. Deforestation accounts for 18 per cent of all emissions, more than the entire global transport sector, so protecting our ancient forests from further devastation is absolutely essential if we're serious about tackling climate change.

The role of governments and companies

If these threats are so apparent, why have governments not done more to combat them? Simply put, there is a distinct lack of political will on all sides to take action. In the developing world, a lack of funding for management and policing protected areas is aggravated by widespread corruption, while in industrialised nations products made from illegally logged timber are cheaper than those produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Even our own government can't abide by its own guidelines for buying timber- despite Tony Blair's verbal commitments towards forest protection, it's still absurdly easy to find products made from illegal and unsustainably logged timber on sale in this country.

Consequences of Deforestation Removing forests (and their natural functions) causes many serious problems. Removing forests (and their natural functions) causes many serious problems.

Loss of trees makes global warming worse. Through photosynthesis, trees remove carbon dioxide from the air, produce oxygen, and store carbon as

wood. One ton of carbon in wood or forest biomass represents 3.67 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide recycled. We are creating warming, not only by putting more CO2 into the air, but also by getting rid of trees that absorb and remove carbon from the air. Impact on Ecosystems. Forests preserve water, soils, plants and wildlife. Their destruction aggravates droughts, soil erosion, and pollution of watercourses, and causes extensive flooding, and increased pest populations due to the ecological imbalance. Loss of Species. Tropical forests contain at least half the Earth's species, so their loss causes a dramatic loss of biodiversity. Clearing and destructive logging of forests is the single greatest cause of species extinction worldwide. Harm to Water. Forests are natural dams that catch rainwater in their canopies and in leaves and litter on the forest floor, retaining and purifying rainwater. Forest logging allows rapid run-off and destroys the ability of the soil to absorb water.

wOrKed exaMpLe FrOM Tanzania: The FinaL cOLuMn was added FOLLOwing discussiOns FOREST PROBLEMS SOLUTIONS TO MAIN FOREST PROBLEMS LEVEL AT WHICH TO DEAL WITH ISSUE LAND SHORTAGES FOR FARMING AND FOR THE CREATION OF NEW VILLAGE FORESTS Pw: 1 Lack of land for forest restoration/ village forests Tree boundary planting Agroforestry Some solutions at farm level, but lack of village forest land and farm land needs to be addressed at village, district and regional level. Pw: 4 Landlessness Reallocation of land for equal utilization especially for those who have large pieces of land not fully utilized LACK OF WATER / DROUGHT Pw: 2 Lack of water

hinders tree-planting Plant trees during rainy season Farm level Rw: 3 Dying of tree seedlings due to drought Water tree seedlings and use manure. Use of natural regeneration of tree seeds dispersed by cattle. Farm level Rm: 5 Drought Tree-planting of drought tolerant species and fruit trees. Farm level FUELWOOD SHORTAGES Pw: 3 Only one source of fuelwood On-farm tree-planting Farm level, but see also land redistribution problems CONFLICT WITH AUTHORITIES OVER CHARCOAL Pw: 5 Conflict between villagers and foresters over forest products Re: charcoal-burning from own farmland, the Village Government should provide the permit so that it can be taken to market. That permit should be respected on the road by police etc. Lack of clarity about documents needed to sell charcoal from own land. District Level and Village Government. TREE DISEASES Rw: 4 Dying of tree seedlings due to diseases and insects Plant many. Use pesticides and mixed ashes and manure. Farm-level GUM MARKETING Rm: 4 Lack of promising

markets for gum (+ Low market prices for gum); 7 Lack of knowledge on gum quality and the mixing of gums of different qualities and tree species Request assistance on better markets for gums, and better knowledge of current prices. Education to gum collectors on the importance of gum quality, and the importance of not mixing different gums. Better market intelligence, through request from District-Regional level forestry officials to National Forestry and Beekeeping Division of Ministry of Natural Resources. ILLEGAL USE OF VILLAGE FORESTS BY OTHERS Rw: 1 Illegal cutting of trees in village land and forest conservation areas To establish protection measures for village and private owned forests. Sharing patrol/ policing of the resources. Education/ sensitization through meetings in the village. Village Government and some outside facilitation from ward forester Rw: 5 Illegal tree cutting for fuelwood for home use For conservation areas, get permits from sub-village forest officer. For village forest, get permission from the village chairman

owning village forest. Abide by regulation on use/ harvesting of forest resources as advised by authorities (forest department and village government). Pm: 1 Accidental starting of forest fires Arrest and take to Village Government who will fine him/her. Village Government Rw: 2 Illegal/ unauthorized grazing of cattle in village forests A village meeting to put in place security strategies to solve the problem of illegal activities. Use village bylaws appropriately. Change security guards. Village Government Pm: 2 Unauthorized grazing Arrest and take to Village Government to fine or warn him/ her. Village Government