Deforestation -- Summary

  While the problem of deforestation is now recognized as a very serious and important one, it is yet to be effectively addressed by governmental and international organizations. The current goal of agencies attempting to curb deforestation is to ensure that as much as possible of the world's timber usage comes from sources which practice sustainable forestry. Lumber certification programs are an important part of the plan to achieve this goal.

It is important to recognize, however, that lumber certification programs only address the portion of the deforestation problem which is to blame on harvesting of timber for the sake of using that timber. As mentioned earlier, slash and burn agriculture, deforestation for the sake of producing pasture for cattle raising, and government subsidies for excessive logging for the purpose of producing jobs (rather than lumber) are also major causes of deforestation.

In order to truly confront the problem of deforestation, all these causes must be addressed individually. Modern farming technology must be given to nations which depend on slash and burn agriculture. The cattle industry may be encouraged to raise its cattle in a manner that does not involve destruction of rainforest through government subsidies. And organizations may choose to offer rewards for timber workers who decide to switch to other jobs, in order to reduce the need for subsidies to the logging industry.

The problem of deforestation can only be solved if it is addressed on all fronts.

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