than using these woods blindly, it is vitally important that we stop and
think about where they actually come from.
great natural forests of the world fall into three main types:
rainforests – in Central America, Amazonia, Central and West Africa,
Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea. These produce mainly hardwood
forests – in colder, northern countries such as parts of Canada,
Scandinavia and Russia. These produce softwoods from coniferous trees
forests – in Europe, the United States (except Alaska and Hawaii),
Australasia, Chile and southern Brazil. These produce both hardwoods
of these are under threat, mainly due to the extraction of timber for the
wood, board and card and paper products that we have come to take for
granted. So why should we be worried about the loss of our forests?
we don’t look after our forests, there won’t be any wood in the
forests are home to countless plants and animals, many of which might
prove to be vital for humans e.g in conserving the gene pool,
providing new drugs or new food sources).
forests act as the Earth’s ‘lungs’, removing carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere. Trees absorb most carbon dioxide when they are young;
when they are mature they absorb and give out equal amounts; and when
they decay, they give it out. Therefore it makes most sense to cut
down trees when they are mature and to plant new ones.
play a vital role in moderating weather patterns.
some logging companies replant a tree (or even two) for every one that
they cut down, careless forestry can disrupt and permanently damage the
finely balanced ecosystems on which so much depends. In addition, we are
simply using too much industrial wood and paper. By 2010, consumption is
expected to rise by 57% in comparison to 1990.