China Devastating Asia/Pacific’s Rainforests

Rainforest logsChina has joined Europe and the United States as a global drain upon the world's ancient forests. China's appetite for foreign wood arises from its spectacular economic growth and from the decision in 1999 to protect its own environment at the expense of regional forests. China's unsustainable demand for timber is causing widespread deforestation and environmental destruction beyond their own borders – particularly in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar and increasingly Russia.

Over the past five years, the Asian region has lost more than 14.8 million acres [6 million hectares] of natural forests, while adding a paltry half a million hectares in plantations (which are crops, with all their attendant agricultural impacts, not forests). To their credit, even the FAO understands that limited plantation development is not a replacement for lost natural forest ecosystems.
China's rush to develop and resultant destruction of ancient forests differs from historical deforestation in the immense magnitude and scope of destruction. As China's massive population adopts the deadly Western lifestyle and ecocidal relationship to natural ecosystems, it is highly unlikely any large, intact forest ecosystems will persist anywhere. The global economic growth machine is eating the Earth's life support systems.

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4 Responses

  1. Marc Sommer says:

    Insiders and mathematicians know that the influence on destructruction of China on biodiversity will be DISASTROUS because of the vast amount of people overthere that slowly will be mobilised to make use of the same modalities we use already in the 'civilised ' part of the world.
    In other words : they are so numerous that if every Chinese gets the possibility to drive a car as we we use at present day we can forget to to continue breath.

  2. Warwick Zeamer says:

    I would be happy to do business with an ecologically responsible China

  3. Doommonger says:

    The rise of China and India and their insatiable demand for the same standard of living we enjoy is nullifying any attempt to curb our own tendencies to violate the Earth. I doubt if we can educate enough people quickly enough to prevent disaster.

  4. Lahiru says:

    I am from SE Asia, and i know that China's rise is posign a threat to the forests in our region. But there is a point that you havent mentioned.
    Only about 50% of SE Asia's forests remain today. What happened to the other 50%? The Phillipines has only 10% forest cover remaining, and Thailand is nearly the same. The main consumer for the last few years has been Japan. When Japan's post war economy started picking up, they first used Phillipine timber. As the Philipine timber supply diminished they started using Thailands, now they are moving onto Sarawak and Sabah. The trend is visible. For further reference please refer:
    An introduction to tropical rain forests / T.C. Whitmore.
    It gives a detailed breakdown of Japanese Timber exports.

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