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Is There a Better Way to Conserve the World's Forests?

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Deforestation has become a global concern. In June 2018, The Guardian reported that 29.4 million hectares of the world’s forests had been destroyed in 2017, the second highest recorded since monitoring began in 2001. They equate this to an area the size of one football field being lost for every second of 2017.1 National Geographic further reports “Forests cover about 30% of the world’s land area, but swathes half the size of England are lost each year”.2

Forests are being destroyed due to natural causes such as fires and disease, but vast areas are being cleared by humans for other uses, agriculture being one of the biggest. In Columbia, much has been intentionally cleared for cattle, logging and cocaine production, in many cases, illegally.3

The result is devastating to the humans, wildlife and plant species that once inhabited the area. In many cases, the effects are irreversible: according to National Geographic, 80% of the Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many simply cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.4

One of LIGNIA's timber scientists, Dr Bronia Stefanowski, tells us there are over 60,000 tree species known to science. Half of these are what we call ‘endemic’, which means they can only be found in one place in the world. Consequently, targeted deforestation has the potential to wipe out an entire species. There are two possible solutions to increasing tree coverage on our planet: reforestation and afforestation. Reforestation involves replanting trees in areas that were former forest lands prior to a catastrophe (natural or otherwise). Afforestation involves planting trees in areas that were not previously forests. These solutions are essential measures against the detrimental effects of deforestation and should be widely embraced.
 
 
 
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However, there is another solution that could help end the need for clearing and cutting tropical hardwoods on such a devastating scale: the use of modified timber.

LIGNIA® Wood Company has created beautiful, high-performance wood products that replace the need for teak, mahogany and other hardwoods to be cut down, helping preserve natural hardwood forests.

Our fast-growing softwood is treated so that it has many of the properties of hardwood species. It’s grown in sustainably-managed forests, then treated to improve its durability. This gives it a longer service life and reduces the demand for virgin timber, which in turn, helps preserve our precious forest ecosystems and contributes to a better world where less deforestation is needed.

According to National Geographic, the most feasible solution to deforestation is to carefully manage forest resources by eliminating clear-cutting to make sure forest environments remain intact. The cutting that does occur should be offset by planting young trees to replace older trees felled.5

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Surprising Facts

  • We lost a football pitch of forest every second in 2017.
  • 80% of the Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.
  • Targeted deforestation could wipe out an entire species.
  • The use of LIGNIA products will help to contribute to a better world where less deforestation is needed.

 

Lisa Ayala is the North America Sales Manager at LIGNIA Wood Company. 

Sources
 

1, 2, 3 The Guardian – Damian Carrington, Niko Kommenda, Pablo Gutiérrez and Cath Levett. 2019. One football pitch of forest lost every second in 2017, data reveals.

4, 5 National Geographic. 2019. Deforestation – A Modern Day Plague.

 

Lisa Ayala

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