How Illegal Logging Is Devastating Our Forests


How Illegal Logging Is Devastating Our Forests

Illegal logging is devastating our forests around the world. Habitats and homes of animals and indigenous tribes are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Illegal logging and deforestation are destroying the ecosystem in which we live. Animals that depend on the forests for food and shelter are forced to move to other locations to survive.

Life cycles of plants and animals are turned topsy turvy. In fact the perceived increased in deer population might be due to the deers driven from their homes. When the forests are cleared for prospective shopping malls, retail and office outlets and housing, we are clearing their homes. So animals land in our backyard.

In 2003, the forestation rate in some parts of the Amazon was the second highest ever recorded at 26,130 square kilometers. Some figures conclude that over 1.6 billion people dependent on the forest for their livelihood and 60 million for their subsistence are displaced.

Illegal logging is advancing at alarming rates in Southeast Asia too. Wildlife in the islands of Sumatra and Borneo could be facing extinction if something is not done right away. At the current rate of destruction, 98 percent of the remaining forests will be gone by 2022. Orangutans in particular face the biggest threat. A species that once numbered in the hundreds of thousands becomes one of the most endangered species in the world today because of illegal poaching, logging and forests fires.

Much of the money obtained from illegal logging is used to fund wars, money laundering and other organized crimes. The problem stems from weak governing laws over the timber trade. Neither the United States nor Japan has laws prohibiting the import of illegally logged timber. All this encourages these companies to boost profits and continue destroying our precious forests.

The problem must first of all be addressed by the current administration. Governments around the world must stop accepting the import of these illegally logged timbers. When there is no demand for it the supply will stop. As concerned citizens we must get involved with Green peace or log on to sites like and make let your voices be heard.

A bar code program funded by The home Depot and the US and British Agencies for International Development has been successful in keeping track of illegal logging in Indonesia. It works by using computerized barcodes on timber coming in from Indonesia. It is a tracking device that helps ensure the timber was logged legally. These barcodes give timber a virtual fingerprint and is unique to the log it is attached. Specific information is coded in, including exactly where it came from. Considering about 75 percent of Indonesia’s logging practices are of the illegal nature, a tracking device is the only way for the United States and other countries to stop accepting illegal timber. When illegal companies known that there timber will not be accepted, then they will be forced to comply with the law.

Global warming is a threat that will affect generations to come. The atmosphere surrounding us that supports life is a God-given gift. It must be protected. We should be leaders in efforts to curb global warming, not resistant followers.

Erin Hunt is an avid writer and activist. She discovered that many are still unaware of the dangers of global warming and thus created a website to educate others on how they can play a role in the fight against global warming. Find out more about the cause and effects of global warming and how you can make a difference at


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