Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) is defined as “the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality, and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems” (Forest Europe 2016; Mackey et al. 2015).
Trends in the proportion of land area under forests is used as one of the indicators for the Millennium Development Goals (United Nations, 2008).
We are losing forests at a rate of 27 football fields a minute. That is a startling number. But the biggest problem for the world’s forests is not the outright clearing of forests, known as deforestation. It is degradation. Degraded forests are a problem, as they reduce their efficiency in keeping air and water clean, in providing wildlife with shelter and food, or in capturing carbon.
Key drivers for the loss of biodiversity and changes to forest ecosystems are:
- Land-use change, especially through agriculture expansion, is the most destructive driver for the loss of the natural world on land, followed by the extraction and overexploitation of species like timber harvests and hunting.
The indirect drivers which are driving an unprecedented rate of global change in nature are:
- Growing human population
- Global economy
- Trade driving demand for energy and materials
- The wrong economic incentives with insufficient recognition of the values of ecosystem functions.
The decades of exploitation have destroyed and degraded much of the Earth’s natural forests. We’ve already lost half of our forested land globally. Across the planet from the Amazon to Canada and Indonesia large areas are being degraded, due in large part to unsustainable industrial activities.
The United Nations biodiversity report warns that most of the global 2020 targets for the protection of nature outlined in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (Aichi biodiversity targets) will not be met, undermining half of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Possible Solutions - How to save the frogs
Conservation of forest ecosystems can be approached in many ways. The possible solutions are categorized in three ways through which forest conservation can be achieved from a local to a global level.
- Through the recovery and promotion of knowledge and traditional methodologies
- Through conservation and protected areas
- Through governmental initiatives
WSO’s activities and initiatives
The WSO Friend of the Earth Save the Forest campaign will consist of:
- Analysis of current deforestation trends per country
- Selection of the major problematic area
- Assessment of main causes of deforestation
- Activation of Change.org campaigns to pressure local governments, culpable companies (agriculture, mining, etc.) to initiative immediate change Reporting to petition contributors and the public about achieved objectives
Call to action
- Choose Friend of the Sea or Friend of the Earth certified products and services.
- Sign Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth Change.org petition
- Choose leaders of parliament who care about environmental sustainability such as saving threated frog species and are willing to intervene by introducing relevant legislations. Authorities at the National Park Laguna Blanca undertook an action plan to control invasive fishes at White lagoon in 2007 to protect the population of Patagonia frogs, an endemic species to north-western Argentina. Similar models need to be promoted elsewhere.
- Promote establishment of captive breeding and national parks where there is none yet.
- Fund conservation initiatives by biologists, evolutionists, pathologists who work on frogs.