Logging Suspended in Philippines
The Philippines are being ravaged by massive human-induced floods that have resulted from decades of horrendous forest mismanagement. And now finally, after hundreds of deaths, the Philippine government has suspended logging.
There are reasons that most moist tropical areas including the Philippines were naturally densely forested. Closed canopy forests protected fragile soils from intense downpours. Forests and their soils and root systems acted like a sponge – holding water in times of torrential rains, and releasing water slowly in times of drought. You can attribute this to your God, Gaia and/or evolution. But human greed exhibited through both legal and illegal logging has dramatically impacted life giving rainforests. Tropical logging is murder, now, and in the future.
It is dangerous and unnatural for any tropical nation to depend upon tropical logging as a development strategy. Nations such as Papua New Guinea, the Congo, Brazil and elsewhere are following the Philippines and other nation's lead in peeling their rainforest skins from their lands, at drastic costs to their future ecological well-being and development potential. There will be no human advancement and much misery in all countries – tropical in particular, for the reasons given above – that fail to identify and maintain large and strategically placed natural forest areas adequate to provide ecosystem services such as water regulation.
Deforestation and diminishment of ancient tropical forests is dumb, evil, and ecocidal. It is also unnecessary and preventable. It must be stopped and reversed. Global ecological sustainability depends upon reintegrating natural forest cover into human communities, while maintaining remaining large, connected and intact areas as core ecological preserves free of industrial development and all but local traditional uses. Legal logging (or in essence mining) of ancient forests in most cases differs from illegal logging only in that corrupt government officials benefit even more. In both cases millions of years of evolutionary and ecological brilliance are being mowed for a few bucks and beer money for local peoples, while a few become gluttonously rich.
All tropical nations rich in forest ecosystems must heed the Philippines example and end commercial logging – both legal and illegal – and be assisted by the international community in doing so. If the Philippines and other tropical nations are serious about having a prosperous and civilized future, they will begin restoring their forests and limiting the size of their populations. To do otherwise dooms their citizens and the world to spirally ecological collapse and great suffering. It has begun already.