Minggu, 28 Juni 2009

JAVA SCRIPT | Trik Dan Tips Seputar Ilmu Komputer Dan Jaringan

JAVA SCRIPT | Trik Dan Tips Seputar Ilmu Komputer Dan Jaringan

Rainforest Plants,Momordica " Bitter Melon"

By Tony Mandarich

Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Momordica
Species: charantia

Common Names: bitter melon, papailla, melao de sao caetano, bittergourd, balsam apple, balsam pear, karela,

General Description: Bitter melon is a herbaceous tendril-bearing vine that bears small leaves, yellow flowers and fruity gourds shaped like cucumbers. The light green fruit is eight to 12 inches long and ridges punctuate the fruit's exterior. The flesh is thin and surrounds a cavity of seeds and pith. Before the fruit ripens, seeds and pith are white. In this state, they are not bitter and for culinary purposes, are removed before cooking.

Location: Bitter melon grows in tropical areas, including parts of the Amazon, east Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, and is cultivated throughout South America as a food and medicine.

Uses: When fully ripe, the pith becomes sweet and turns red. It can be eaten at this time; the fruit of the melon cannot, however, because it becomes tough as it ripens. Ripened sweet Bitter Melon pith is used extensively in salads in Southeast Asia.

As it ripens, this fruit becomes bitter. Therefore, the fruit is most often eaten green. Some miniature species are like small pickles and may be served as stuffed vegetables.

Bitter melon has also been used for numerous medical conditions by shaman in tropical rainforests for centuries. Infections, cancer, leukemia, and diabetes have all been treated with it over the years.

Highly touted in internet marketing circles as a cure for diabetes and psoriasis, supporters believe it has impressive curative properties. Unfortunately, there is no solid research to support these claims. However some research documents improvement in both diabetes and psoriasis following use of Bitter Melon.

Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.

Rainforest Plants,Desmodim"AMOR SECO"

By Tony Mandarich

Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Desmodium
Species: adscendens

Common Names: amor seco, amor-do-campo, strong back, pega pega, margarita, beggar-lice, burbur, manayupa, hard man, hard stick, mundubirana, barba de boi, mundurana, owono-bocon, dipinda dimukuyi, dusa karnira, tick-clover

General Description: Amor seco is indigenous to the tropics and grows just about anywhere, much like most weeds. It is a perennial herb that reaches 50 cm tall and bears a lot of light-purple flowers and green fruits in small pods. If the soil is disturbed, one can almost count on this plant making an appearance.

In Brazil, the plant is also known as amor-do-campo; Peruvians call it manayupa. The large Desmodium genus has more than 400 species of perennial and annual herbs. They all grow in temperate and tropical regions in the Western hemisphere, Australia, and South Africa. In the tropical rainforest, Desmodium axillare, a closely related plant, is used interchangeably in herbal medicine systems, much like any number of rainforest plants.

Uses: Today, medicinal use of amor seco hasn't changed much for tribesmen and women in the tropics. Its use ranges from a tea given for nervousness to a bath to treat vaginal infections. Some tribes believe the plant has magic powers, and it is taken by lovers to rekindle a waning romance. Some Amazonian natives brew a tea from the leaves and bathe women's breasts after birth to aid in the flow of milk. Additional tribal uses include pounding the leaves and adding lime juice to treat wounds; the tea has also been used for convulsions and venereal sores. It has been used to treat malaria and diarrhea, as well as venereal disease and as a digestive aid.

In Belize the plant is called "strong back"; it is used there to treat backaches, soaking it in rum for 24 hours, and then taking it daily for one to two weeks for relieve back pain. Depending upon the Central or South American country and tribe, uses for this amazing plant cover the gamut of physical ailments and problems experienced by humans.

Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.

A Trek Through Malaysia's Tropical Rainforest

By Miriam Sirag

Lush green, prolific life surrounding the giant trunks of ancient trees is most people's idea of a tropical rainforest. If you've always dreamed of seeing one for yourself or going on an adventure holiday, Malaysia's foremost national wilderness is my recommendation. It's called Taman Negara which means "national park," but with Malaysia's strict conservation laws, it's more wilderness than park.

The vast swath of protected land lies in the heart of continental Malaysia in the Cameron Highlands. It not only boasts countless varieties of plant and animal life, but also varied terrain that is still accessible to most active people. Besides such exotic flora as tree ferns, orchids and rafflesia, it is home to endangered species of Asian elephants, tigers, and rhinos. Sightings of endangered species are rare, but iguana, deer, birds and bats are easily seen if you know how and where to look. Local tour guides love to show these off.

It's well off the beaten path for most Westerns, which is part of its charm for enthusiasts. In fact, most visitors must reach park headquarters in small riverboats. The only road would be rough even for a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Other parts of the park are only accessible by foot. A trek up Mount Tahan takes about four days of backpacking.

But if you're looking for adventure on the wild side, here are a few tips:

1. Book a group stay. You must book ahead, and most tours have a minimum number of persons required (some as low a four). If someone in your group speaks Malay or Indonesian, so much the better.

2. Obtain photo permits. If you want to take pictures, get a permit. It's the law.

3. Have local cash currency. There are no banks in a foreign wilderness.

4. Pick a good time of year to travel. This would be when it isn't too wet or too crowded with locals. Did I mention it's a rainforest? March is the driest month and is mating season for many species.

5. Wear protective clothing. Heavy jeans, long sleeved shirts and sneakers are ideal. This might seem hot, but tropical rainforests are home to large quantities of insects and leeches. I suggest protection first and comfort later.

6. Get international travel insurance. Make sure you are healthy enough for wandering through a wilderness several hours from any medical help. If you are, check out travelers insurance for any unforeseen emergencies you might encounter. Illnesses and injuries occur more frequently than we want, often necessitating emergency medical evacuation.

Then relax and enjoy the mesmerizing panorama of a tropical rainforest.

Kamis, 25 Juni 2009

The Tropical Rainforests and Their Importance to the Global Eco-system

By Robert Bagnall

The world's tropical rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate. Sooner than we know we will all become aware of their importance in our lives. Today, more than two-thirds of the world's tropical rainforests exist as fragmented remnants of their past magnificence. Man in his headlong pursuit of power and dominance over nature continues to destroy the sacred trust to which he is an heir, the planet itself, our home spaceship earth hangs in the balance. What can be done at this late hour to turn the trend back towards sanity?

Tropical rainforests and their importance to the global ecosystem, and for that matter human existence, are paramount. Unequalled in terms of their biological diversity, tropical rainforests are a natural pool of genetic diversity which offers a rich source of medicinal plants, high-yield foods, and a plethora of other useful forest raw materials. They are an important habitat for migratory animals and sustain as much as fifty percent of the species of life on our planet, not to mention a number of diverse and unique indigenous cultures. Tropical rainforests also play an important role in regulating global weather in addition to maintaining regular rainfall, while buffering against floods, droughts, and erosion. They store huge quantities of carbon, while producing more than a significant amount of the world's oxygen.

Despite their vital role, tropical forests are restricted to the small area of land between the latitudes 22° North and 22° South of the equator, or in other words between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer. Since the majority of Earth's land is located north of the tropics, rainforests are naturally limited to a relatively small area relative to the overall global land area.

Like so many other natural places Tropical rainforests are a dwindling resource in the 21st century. The vast areas of forest, swamp, desert, and savanna that carpeted the Earth's surface a mere five generations ago have now been reduced to scattered fragments. Today, more than two-thirds of the world's tropical rainforests exist as fragmented remnants. Just a few thousand years ago, tropical rainforests covered as much as 12 percent of the Earth's land surface, or about 6 million square miles (15.5 million square km), but today less than 5 percent of Earth's land is covered with these forests or about 2.41 million square miles or 625 million hectares). The largest unbroken stretch of rainforest is found in the Amazon River basin of South America. More than half of this forest lies in Brazil, which holds about one-third of the world's remaining tropical rainforests. Another 20 percent of the world's remaining rainforest are in Indonesia and Congo Basin, while the balance of the planets rainforests exist scattered around the globe in tropical regions.

The global distribution of tropical rainforests can be broken up into four bio-geographical realms based roughly on four forested continental regions: the Ethiopian or Afro-tropical, the Austral Asian or Australian, the Oriental or Indo-Malayan/Asian, and the Neo-tropical.

Therefore it is imperative that what little remains of this vitally important land area is preserved and cherished. For were it to become more atrophied than it already is we may as well throw in the towel and admit that we just didn't deserve our place on this planet and we can all go to our deaths knowing that we were the generation that turned its back on life itself.

Yet there is a way that we can all contribute locally so that nutrition and life force can be returned back into the rainforests of our world. By daily performance of an Ancient Ayurvedic process known as Agnihotra we can fulfill a vital function that no other technology known to man can accomplish. We can through our local daily performance and participation in this technology can breathe new life back into the rainforests of the world and in so doing simultaneously raise our awareness as well as all of mankind's awareness collectively, for this cuts to the heart of the problem. Mans lack of awareness is the root cause of the mess we find ourselves in today and so it here that we must work to make the change. Join me in this great work and rise to the challenge that this catastrophic dilemma poses or we will have no one to blame but ourselves for the fruits of our collective in action.

Amazon and African Forests Forebode Climate Calamity

By Jason Witt

When you receive the Seal you will begin to care about the environment. You will have to--climate change is the end-times approaching. You will see how the tropical forests of the world are being destroyed, and now not just in the Amazon. Right now around the world an acre of of tropical forest is disappearing every minute. With the disappearance of the forests comes climate change spiraling out of control.

Scientists warn that if nothing is done to stop the destruction of the world's tropical forests, in 10 years it will already be too late. And 10 years is not giving the world much time. That means the world needs to take action now. Unfortunately little is being done to preserve the world's forests in the United States, and that is not likely to change significantly soon enough to stave off disaster.

The burning of the rain forest in Amazon to clear the way for cattle-grazing land and farmland is well-publicized. But when the tropical forests are cut down and any of them are left rotting, that also releases carbon dioxide into the air.

More carbon dioxide in the air means more global warming. The carbon dioxide acts roughly like the glass walls of a greenhouse. It lets in the heat from the sun but does not let enough of the heat out of the atmosphere.

The destruction of the forests is now the world's second leading cause of carbon dioxide emissions, weighing in at 1/5 the world's emissions. And with a warming world the remaining rain forests will begin to die off, releasing even more carbon dioxide. This is what is happening now. Everything with climate change has been happening faster than predicted so far. And Africa is now a leader in deforestation, happening faster than ever before.

Every year forests around the world the size of the state of Mississippi are destroyed. And in Africa, nearly 1 percent of the tropical forests are destroyed every year. One-third of Nigeria's forests were destroyed in the last 15 years.

The destruction of the tropical forests and global warming are set to feed on each other in a vicious cycle that will soon spiral wildly out of control. What does this mean for you? The answer is simple: the end of the world. When His disciples asked Him about the end-times, Jesus told them the simple parable of the fig tree. When the fig tree starts to blossom, you know that summer is near. That "summer" is the end-times.

Jesus described the end-times as a "summer" and now that is the way scientists all around the world see the approaching end-times. Winters are turning into summers. And even summers are getting warmer.

When you are sealed you will begin to care about the environment. You have no choice. The younger you are today, the more of this destruction you will see in the world before you die. It is useless to leave a legacy to a dying world. You do not need to leave anything to future generations but love for God. Because with the end of the world approaching, everyone is going to face God and hope for another chance in Heaven.

When you are sealed you will take steps to get closer to God today while you still have the chance. You will see the end-times approaching and you will tell others how to get closer to God too when you receive the Seal.

Selasa, 23 Juni 2009

Harmful Effects of Deforestation

By Nathalie Fiset

Human beings always have been and probably always will be to some extent dependent on forests. Trees were their habitat, their environment, their source of food and their protection from enemies. Forests are very important to man, and other organisms, and one of the biggest problems the world is facing today is the threat of totally losing the forests due to massive deforestation and suffering the harmful effects of deforestation.

Deforestation can be defined as the large scale removal of forests. Deforestation occurs when forests are converted to non-forest areas for urbanization, agriculture, and other reasons without sufficient reforestation. It is the permanent destruction of forests and woodlands.

At present, forests are considered among the most endangered on the planet. Everyday at least 80,000 acres of forest vanish from Earth. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations show that the rates of deforestation has not abated and has actually increased by 8.5% from 2000-2005 compared during the 1990s. FAO has approximated that about 10.4 million hectares of tropical forest have been permanently destroyed from 2000-2005 compared to 10.14 million hectares in the period of 1990-2000.

The process of deforestation is often a complex pattern of progressive fragmentation of the forests. Mistakes of this sort could lead to forest destruction. Along with this destruction is the extinction of many species, heavy soil erosion, greenhouse effect, silting of rivers and dams, flooding, landslides, denuded upland, degraded watershed, and even destruction of corals along the coast.

Extinction of Thousands of Species - Destruction of the forests leads to a tragic loss of biodiversity. Millions of plants and animal species are in danger of disappearing as a result of deforestation. Tropical forests are much more biologically diverse than other forest and a very serious effect of deforestation in tropical countries is the loss of biodiversity.

Heavy Soil Erosion - One function of the forest is that its roots hold the soil in place. Without trees soil erosion and landslides easily happen. When heavy rains and typhoons come, soil is easily carried to lower areas especially to communities at the foot of the mountains.

Greenhouse Effect - Deforestation increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The conitnued degradation of our forest heightens the threat of global warming because the trees and other plants that takes up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to be used for photosynthesis are gone. The burning of wood or its decay contributes to the release of more carbon which combines with oxygen in the atmosphere thus increasing further the levels of carbon dioxide that causes greenhouse effect.

Silting of Rivers and Dams - Deforestation results in the silting of rivers sediments deposit which shortens its life span and clogs irrigation system. As a result of deforestation, the reservoir behind many dams are filled with sediments more rapidly than expected.

Flooding - One major importance of forest is that they absorb water quickly in great amount during heavy rains. But due to massive deforestation there are no trees to absorb the water thus resulting to the loss of many lives.

Landslides - The roots of the trees bind soil to it and to the bedroock underlying it. That is how trees prevent soil from getting eroded by natural agents like wind or water. When trees are uprooted, there will be nothing to hold the soil together thus increasing the risk for landslides which can cause seriously threaten the safety of the people and damage their properties.

Denuded Upland - After several harvests of the forest the cleared land is no longer suitable for planting trees. It has become a desert. The transformation of a forest to a semi-desert condition is called desertification.

Degraded Watershed - When forest mountains are denuded, watersheds are degraded and this leads to the loss of sustained water supplies for lowland communities. This is because trees affect the hydrological cycle. They can change the amount of water in the soil, groundwater, and in the atmosphere.

Destruction of Corals along the Coast - Coral areas are degraded and coral reefs are affected by siltation. As a result of deforestation there is an increase of flooding during the rainy seasons and decreased stream flow in dry seasons.

The forest provides us with many products and important services. It stops soil erosion, refreshes the air, and protect us from typhoons and other calamities. But if rampant deforestation is not controlled it will result to several problems. In one way or another, the denuded forests will back fire and people will certainly lose to the harmful effects of deforestation.

Rainforest Layers

By Wendy Pan

The rain forest is made up of layers which will all have a different characteristic and be the home for a range of different birds, animals and insects. They will also support a huge variety of plant life which will vary according to the rain forest layers in which they exist. There are five rain forest layers which are clearly definable.

The lowest is the forest floor. Much of the sunlight does not penetrate here and in fact only around 2% of the sunlight reaches the floor. This layer will be home to millions of micro organisms and invertebrates which live amongst the fallen leaves. There will be some mosses and ferns growing in the warm and damp. Many larger animals will be found here including big cats, elephants and gorillas.

Next will be a shrub layer which is home to many varieties of shrubs and ferns. The rain forest layers then continue with a layer of small trees called the understory. Although these are small in comparison to the taller trees of the forest, they can still reach up to around 20 metres in height. These will grow until they are just under the canopy of the forest and will wait there until they find a space to grow into. You will find birds, snakes, butterflies and frogs here and the whole area will be filled with activity and colour.

The canopy, next layer up, is probably the best known of the rain forest layers. The trees will be up to 35 metres tall and form a canopy over the lower layers keeping out much of the light. Many monkeys make this area their home, as do sloths, snakes, lots of insects and some frogs and lizards.

Above the canopy will be the emergent layer. This is the highest of the rain forest layers and comprises the tops of the highest trees. It is not nearly as dense as the canopy and the trees almost look like umbrellas opened up over the top of the forest. The wildlife in this area is similar to that of the canopy although the animals may be smaller. You are not likely to find sloths, but there will be some small monkeys. This is a very difficult area to study due to its inaccessibility. Recently, however, there have been some walkways established so that researchers can record the activity in the layer.

Each of the rain forest layers is a separate community but they work together as a whole and no one layer can survive without the others. This is intuitive to them and they exist sympathetically as a complete unit. If we could learn to live with the same respect for each other down on the ground level, we may be able to save our rain forests and the rich community that lives there.

Sabtu, 20 Juni 2009

Wildlife Conservation in the Central Cardamom Forest

By Vicheka Lay

A collaborative study between the Cambodian Forestry Administration, Conservation International and Fauna and Flora International from 2001 to 2004 has proved that the Central Cardamom Forest has an exceptional degree of biological diversity, including many globally threatened species such as the Indochinese tiger, Asian elephant, and Siamese crocodile. The Central Cardamom Protected Forest is situated within the boundaries of three Cambodian provinces, Koh Kong, Kompong Speu, and Pursat, and covers over 400,000 hectares of land.

According to Mr. Peov Somanak, Research and Monitoring Manager of Conservation International, "Countless treasures exist in this virtually undisturbed forest, one of the only such remaining areas in mainland Southeast Asia.".

Research Findings

The core of the research study has been to unveil the treasures of the Central Cardamom Protected Forest and how those treasures can be protected.

Asiatic Black Bears and Malayan Sun Bears, large deer, wild dogs, wild oxen, elephants, musk deer, wild pigs, mountain goats, wild cats, polecats, various kinds of tigers, wild chickens, small deer, mountainous crocodiles, and many other animals were recorded during the joint studies by using camera trapping.

According to Mr. Samanak, "These results are not complete; there are many more species not yet found, due to time and funding constraints.".

Conservation Efforts

A number of steps have been taken by the Cambodian Government to help protect the forest's biodiversity:

• In January 2001, the Ministry of Agriculture issued a decree to suspend all timber deals and activities in the Central Cardamom Forest.

• A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Conservation International (CI) in order to provide budgetary and technical support to the Forestry Administration for the protection of the Central Cardamom Protected Forest.

• In March 2001, the conservation program began operations with three main activities: law enforcement; research and monitoring; and community development.

• In 2002, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen issued a sub decree declaring this area as a protected biodiversity area.

Other Research Projects

Adequate research and monitoring of individual species is also a vital component of biodiversity protection. Projects include:

Bear Research:

Established in 2006, focusing on three main activities:

1. Research in the Central Cardamom Protected Forest, South-West damrey corridor alley region, Bokor national park, Sre Pork zone, Mondulkiri province, Battambang province and other zones of importance;

2. Production of a documentary on protecting bears in Cambodia which was broadcast on the "Environment Beauty" program of Apsara TV;

3. Provision of training in schools within the Central Cardamom Forest.

Two kinds of bear species were found during this study - the Asiatic Black Bear and the Malayan Sun Bear. The greatest threats to these species were identified as cable trapping, hunting with guns and dogs and habitat damage. The Malayan Sun Bear was shown to be the more endangered of the two species.

Pangolin Research

This research is conducted in Thmar Baing district in Koh Kong province, Sihanouville, Keo Seima, Sen Monorom, Koh Nhek and Pich Da districts of Mondulkiri, Sandan district of Kompong Thom province, Prey Lang region of Stung Treng province and also Kratie province. The greatest threat to pangolin populations is hunting for use in traditional herbal medicines.

Cambodia is adorned with and famed for its natural resources, which the central cardamom mountain is one of the icons of Cambodia's natural resources. Cambodia, the region and even the world would directly or indirectly benefit from such the Cambodian natural resources that have global values.

So it is a must that all Cambodian peoples, its government, international communities and all those interested to contribute, in order to preserve the Central Cardamom Mountain.

Save My Forest

With now nearly 7 billion people on the planet, we are seeing ever-increasing impact of man’s activities on the natural environment (land, water, air and the populations of plants and animals that live in or on them).

Timber has been used by man for an enormous variety of purposes since pre-historic times, particularly in the construction of shelter and for artefacts used in day-to-day life. Forests cover 30% of the earths surface. Trees have been called "fountains of the earth" (Durrell 1993).

Today, timber and wood-based products continue to be used in construction, often in conjunction with other, man-made materials (metals, concrete, plastics). Wood is truly renewable in a relatively short time frame and can also be recycled through a succession of uses before returning to its constituent elements of carbon, water and energy.

Wood plays a major role in combating climate change. Greater use of wood products will stimulate the expansion of Europe's forests and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by substituting for fossil fuel intensive products."

• Wood products act as a carbon sink throughout their life

• Wood has the lowest energy consumption and the lowest CO2 emission of any commonly used building material

• Wood’s thermal insulation properties mean timber frame houses use less energy

• Wood is uniquely renewable

• Using wood products encourages forestry to expand, increasing the carbon sink effect and reducing the CO2
in the atmosphere

• Wood is created by photosynthesis and can be considered an efficient way of storing solar energy

• Recovering the energy from wood products at the end of their life - as a substitute for fossil fuels - increases the CO2 benefit of using wood.

Solar architecture and timber construction:

All over Europe, one particular type of detached house is becoming increasingly popular. We are talking about
wooden houses featuring large glazed surfaces facing the sunny south and well insulated walls with small windows on the cold northern side to protect against heat loss. This new low-energy building technique is without a doubt Solar Architecture as it uses the free energy of the sun in various ways.

Over 8000 tree species, 10% of the world’s total, are threatened with extinction. Like all resources, the forests which produce timber need careful management if they are to continue to supply the increasing demands placed upon them. Fortunately, there are now many organisations dedicated to educating the public as to good forest management.

Europe's Last Primeval Forest In Danger

By Cedrick Reese

Bialowieza Forest is an ancient woodland located in Poland and Belarus. It is the only remaining part of the immense forest which once spread across the European Plain. The forest is home to many species extinct elsewhere, for instance the world famous European Bison, the largest mammal living in the wild in Europe, lynx, wolves, wild boar and elk as well as other threatened wildlife and plants. Yet approximately 90% of the forest remains unprotected.

The Bialowieza Forest is a priceless relic of lowland European forests where we can still observe how European forest ecosystems functioned without human interference. There are a great number of species (both animal and plant) that Bialowieza can boast, including spruce as high as 55 meters, and oaks 40 meters high, which adds up to the biological diversity of the forest. The National Park, which takes up only a part of the ancient woodland, was included into the network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in 1977 and in 1979 it was listed as a World Heritage Site, which in 1992 was enlarged by the strictly protected part of the Belarusian National park.

Its value and character are due to the very long protection as hunting grounds by the empires of East Europe, such as princes of Lithuania, kings of Poland or Tsars of Russia. It was only after the World War I that commercial logging on the large scale began. The UNESCO World Heritage Site protects only 10% of this unique area while the rest (the whopping 90%!) is being cut down for commercial use. The last 80 years of this abusive timber extraction have had a dramatic effect on the unprotected parts of the forests, resulting in less than 20% of old-growth that still prevails.

It would be a shame if such an amazing part of our environment was lost to the greed and exploitation of merely one generation. The future of the Bialowieza Primeval Forest lies in the hands of the Polish government, which has the money and power to stop the devastation of the forest and preserve it for the next generations.

The Cataclysmic Effects of Tree Deforestation

By Nathalie Fiset

Whoever made that poem on trees knew very well the essence of these God-given creatures. Tree is life, and this is a globally accepted truth. Once deforestation occurs, the dreadful effects are out to get lives. This is a disturbing thought but the effects of deforestation do not occur on trees only but on us, humans, too.

Trees were given to mankind as a resource. It, the tree, is there for several purposes. It could be to provide man his most basic and most important need - food; it could also be a source for his many other needs such as shelter, medicine and clothing; trees also help make the soil become more compact (a compact soil is a prevention against erosion). Seeing all these needs, do you now see the need for mankind to fight deforestation?

Originally, deforestation was simply converting a part of a forest into agricultural patch of land. There are many historical records of deforestation where even the earliest civilizations of man already contributed to the loss of trees in the forests. Nowadays, deforestation is a result of human's want for more industrial or residential land area. As the need for more houses arise and as the ever-growing industries increase, more and more trees are uprooted, taken down or simply burned, just to accommodate the need for more land. And this is highly devastating, not just to humans but also for other species and the environment.

Other simple forms of deforestation are illegal logging, even excessive commercial logging and clear cutting. These moneymaking acts are rampant and the greedy businessmen tend to put financial matters atop their priorities. Though these acts have lesser effects when compared to the massive forest denudation due to want of land, still, they have effects that could last generations to come.

Dry forests are more at risk of deforestation as compared to tropical rainforests. More and more dry lands are being converted to urban areas and industrial sites. As this misfortune occurs, the effects begin to show. The immediate effect is seen in the forest itself. Soil begins to erode and water washes it off to the shores and on to the bodies of water beyond the forests. With the loss of trees comes the loss of many animal species. For most birds, sanctuary is the tree and in its loss, these birds suddenly become homeless. With the gradual loss of species, the balance of nature is tipped and that is where disaster threatens to come about.

The act of burning a portion of the forest to convert it into a landmass of vegetation is still being practiced. In fact, it goes side by side with urbanization and industrialization when it comes to denudation. The sad thing about this is, they sometimes need the land for just a short period of time. And with this short period of need, trees that took years to grow are constantly being destroyed. Man's greed for small profit reaps nothing but the aweful effects that we see each day on news headlines.

And what are these headline-making effects of denudation? Heard of the greenhouse effect? This is just one of them. Trees are naturally there to clean up the air of carbon in carbon dioxide form and replace it with oxygen. With lesser trees as an effect of deforestation, more carbon is released into the earth’s atmosphere. Another terrible disaster that could happen when forests are denuded is landslide. Many lives all over the globe have been taken because of this natural calamity.

As numerous as the effects of deforestation are, not just on trees, there are also numerous ways that you can help save the remaining forests on the planet today:

1. Use only recycled paper, recycled paper bags (but do not use plastic bags just so you could help save the forest. Plastics are hazards to the environment), recycled toilet paper. The keyword there is to recycle. When more people change to recycling rather than cutting down trees, then more trees will be allowed to live for a longer number of years.

2. Plant trees (in your yard if you can!). You already know the effects of a single tree's loss.

3. Last, if you can sign up for an environmental awareness organization, do so. This will greatly improve your view when it comes to the importance of keeping the forests. In addition to that, these groups would let you know what you can do to avoid further deforestation.

The overwhelming effects of forest deforestation on trees and on mankind are here to stay, and they will for a few years more if you don't lift a finger to help the ailing planet. You could make a difference. Start small but dream big. All efforts, no matter how small, could counter the effects of this enemy called deforestation.

Unique Retirement Investment Helps Save Tropical Rainforests

By Sherry Brunner

At the present rate of tropical deforestation, the world's remaining tropical rainforests will vanish in just 30 years. By working together we can make a difference! Tropical American Tree Farms offers a unique retirement investment opportunity which helps save the tropical rainforests.

Deforestation in the tropical areas of the world is following a course similar to the earlier clearing of the forests in Europe and North America, only advancing more rapidly. Since just 1950, the world's population has more than doubled to more than 6 billion people, with the fastest population growth being in the tropics. Today, more than 3 billion people live in the tropics alone, more than lived in the entire world in 1950.

Even with tropical deforestation at an all-time high, tropical hardwood prices continue to climb as world demand for tropical hardwoods continues to grow. A single teak log for example can now bring as much as $20,000. Annual world consumption of tropical hardwoods is now more than 250 million cubic meters, or over 100 billion board feet, per year.

Southeast Asia until recently has been the largest source of supply for tropical hardwoods, but that area will largely be depleted within the next five years. All of the primary forests in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh are gone. Ivory Coast's forests are essentially non-existent. Nigeria's forests have been decimated as well. As Asia's and Africa's tropical forests are depleted, consuming countries are turning increasing attention to Latin America and the Amazon, whose own rapidly growing population is also a source of pressure on the rainforests..

Scientists estimate that until as recently as 10,000 years ago, the world had 6 billion acres of tropical rainforests. By 1950, we had a little less than 2.8 billion acres of rainforest. It was then being cut down at the rate of about 10 to 15 million acres per year. Today we have less than 1.5 billion acres left, and we are clearing this remaining rainforest at the rate of 30 to 50 million acres per year, two to three times as rapidly as just a few decades ago. If the present rate of tropical deforestation continues, there will be nearly no tropical rainforests left in just 30 years. Instead of holding steady however, the rate of deforestation is actually predicted to increase even further. Scientists project that the rate of tropical deforestation will continue to increase for the next 10 to 15 years until there simply will not be enough forest left to sustain the rate of cutting.

We must do everything reasonable we can to protect the world's remaining rainforests. One important way to help is to plant tropical hardwood trees for harvests, to produce tropical hardwoods that aren't taken from the natural rainforest. As individuals, we may at times feel insignificant, but by working together, we can indeed make a difference. And by being an example for others, we can multiply the result. Tropical hardwoods provide tree owners with a unique retirement investment.

As international demand for tropical hardwoods increases and the availability of the natural rainforests as a source of supply of these hardwoods decreases, both because of continued harvesting and because the dwindling remaining forests will be increasingly protected, the prices of all tropical hardwoods will likely soar.

There is substantial opportunity in planting nearly any species of tropical hardwoods - and even more opportunity in planting tropical hardwoods that are sought after for their beauty or unique properties.

The following excerpts from two articles by recognized retirement investment professionals in Smart Money Magazine and the Bloomberg Wealth Manager underscore the benefits of investing in trees for harvest.

". . . timber is a near perfect asset"

". . . real prices for timber have steadily risen for more than 100 years - better performance than any other commodity . . ."

"clients inclined toward socially responsible investing will find even more to like in timber . . .."

"Timber's qualifications as a solid alternative investment are too impressive to dismiss."

". . . compared with oil and gold, for example, whose value can be affected by new finds, 'we know where all the world's forests are.'"

It is increasingly vitally important to plant tropical hardwood trees for harvest and to protect the world's remaining tropical rainforests. With the help and faith of the tree owners, Tropical American Tree Farms has planted more than 2 million tropical hardwood trees planted to date. They are making a difference in the future of the rainforests. Their tree owners are also enjoying a unique and rewarding retirement investment.

The Importance Of Rainforests

By Sebanti Ghosh

Rainforests, by virtue of their abundant renewable natural resources, have for timeless periods provided the humankind with amenities for survival and well being, including food, clothing, fuel, condiments, products of industrial use, and even remedies for ailments. The loss of rainforests has an intense and overwhelming consequence.

The rainforests house the Earth's richest biological resources. Almost half of the world's biodiversity will be extinct or severely endangered in the next few years if this rainforest deforestation continues. Approximately ten million aboriginal people lived in the rainforests of the Amazon basin five centuries ago. Today the numbered has dwindled to less than 200,000. Along with the loss of the native tribes, their vast knowledge of medicinal uses of the diverse herbs of the rainforests is also gone irrevocably.

Alkaloids are abundant in the rainforest plants. Many such alkaloids have long-established medicinal use. 121 prescription drugs sold all over the world at present are derived from plant-parts. The plants in the rainforests are the sources of about 25% of pharmaceuticals used in the Western countries. But most of these plants are yet to be analyzed by biologists for their active ingredients and potential uses.

It has been found that more species of birds reside in a single biosphere reserve in Peru than the whole United States. Forty three ant species was found on one single tree in Peru. This number approximately equals the number of species of ants in the British Isles. The number of species of fish in the Amazon River surpasses the number found in the total Atlantic Ocean. These figures bear proof to the astounding biodiversity of the Amazonian rainforests. Accordingly, the loss of even one acre of tropical rainforest transpires to the loss of a staggering amount of plant, animal and microorganism species, along with the loss of their possible uses.

It is possible that cutting down the rainforest may result in losing the potential cure for cancer or AIDS that might have been discovered in an untested or unknown plant from the forest. So in every sense, the wealth offered by the intact rainforest exceeds by far the value of the supplies obtained when the trees are felled for industrial purposes.

Save the rain forest!

Exploring Borneo Tropical Rainforest

The Tropical Rainforest is earth's most complex biome in terms of both structure and species diversity. It occurs under optimal growing conditions: abundant precipitation and year round warmth. There is no annual rhythm to the forest; rather each species has evolved its own flowering and fruiting seasons. Sunlight is a major limiting factor. A variety of strategies have been successful in the struggle to reach light or to adapt to the low intensity of light beneath the canopy.

The Tropical Rainforest has always been one of the most mysterious and adventurous place to visit. Throughout the whole world, only a few tropical countries are lucky to have tropical rainforest with them, these are Amazon tropical rainforest, Cameroon, Congo, Nigeria, Indonesia and Malaysia.

When travelling in the tropical rainforest, it's adventurous and mysterious; we definitely want to think about our own safety. Amazon and Africa Tropical rainforest system are similar to the one in Malaysia and Indonesia, but for safety reasons, we always encourage visitors or tourists to visit the 3rd largest island in the world - Borneo.

What is in Borneo?
Sarawak in Borneo, the best place in the world for visitors or tourists to explore the wonderful Tropical Rainforest, you get to experience living inside the tropical rainforest, seeing Orang Utan, experience the local tribes and their local cultures and even to experience the tropical rainforest weather.

How to get to Sarawak, Borneo?
Sarawak is part of Malaysia. You can use any airlines to reach the 2nd largest airport in Asia - KLIA, and use either Malaysia Airlines or Air Asia to transit to Kuching, the capital of Sarawak.

How to get around Sarawak, Borneo?
One of the reasons to travel in Sarawak is because of their multi culture, majority of their populations speaks good English. They do have Taxi and public transport, or you can rent a car or even appoint Borneo Explorer Travel Agency to plan everything for you.

Is it safe?
Yes, Sarawak, Malaysia is safe enough for you and your loves one to travel. Remember to ask about the visas before entering the country, read more at the resource box below.

What is the exchange rate?
Currently the exchange rate is around USD 1 = RM 3.2. There are plenty of Banks and legal money changers around town.

How are the hotels and conditions?
Sarawak is one of the best developing states in Malaysia, they are the 2nd most tourists visited state as well. You get to see some big names like Hilton, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Somerset Gateway etc, they are all rated at 4 stars and above. You also get to enjoy local resorts which is not too far from Kuching at very reasonable price.

What are the attractions in Sarawak, Borneo?
Borneo Sarawak tropical rainforest - The most complex tropical rainforest in the world, very safe for travelers.

Mulu & Niah Cave - One of the world's largest cave systems and one of the oldest known human burial sites in Southeast Asia.

Orangutan Sanctuarys - The orangutans are two species of great apes known for their intelligence, long arms and reddish-brown hair. They can only be found in Borneo Island and Semengok orangutan sanctuarys are the best place in Borneo to watch the semi-wild orangutans.

Bidayuh Longhouse tour - Take a visit to the local tribes, known as the Borneo head hunters, but they stop doing that decades ago, so don't worry about them. Learn their cultural and how they live in the tropical rainforest for centuries.

Satang & Talang Island - Other than the tropical rainforest, Kuching is famous for the beaches, stay in one of the best resorts in Sarawak for a few days before ending the trip in Sarawak. Go explore the turtle conservation and hatchery area, this is one of a few places in the world that allow tourists to visit.

Sea Kayaking, diving or snorkeling - While staying at the resort, always remember to go for sea kayaking or diving. Borneo has always been one of the best place to dive in the world, no shark, warm water, it's just perfect for a romantic, adventurous and mysterious trip.

Who's suitable and is it expensive?
The living standard in Sarawak, Borneo is cheap. You only pay USD0.50 to get a 325 ml of Diet Coke, that's how cheap it is. Anyone is suitable to explore the tropical rainforest in Sarawak. We use romantic, adventurous, mysterious, fun, relaxing to describe Sarawak, Borneo.

Always feel free to browse the link at resource box to see more photos of the tropical rainforest and Sarawak. Plan a trip there and experience the beautiful mysterious tropical rainforest.

Kamis, 18 Juni 2009

Soil Brick Making Machines Can Save The Forests

By Rudolph Draaisma

In rural areas, usually of tropical developing countries, houses and shelters are mainly build of wood, bamboo and leaves and not very durable. When there is some money to spend, bricks are preferred as building material. Bricks are made in kilns, which requires wood for operation. Wood is becoming limited as these countries hardly have replanting projects, or “wood-growing industries”, that keeps this circle going.

Firewood is mostly taken from natural forest. In the past, these tropical countries had abundant natural forests. Unfortunately, their forest resources have significantly declined, due to civil wars, illegal logging or over cutting, population growth, etc.

Deforestation has economic and environmental consequences. It leads to firewood shortages, and adversely effects living conditions, especially of those in the rural area. Every day more forest and bushes are disappearing. The wood prices have increased significant over the past years and is becoming alarmingly expensive for the poor.

If rural people want to go for bricks, the road conditions are poor and transport doesn’t guarantee the fragile bricks to be delivered in one piece.A key feature of most of the UNDP conservation projects is encouragement of community engagement in forest protection and wildlife conservation. In this way, those that live in natural resource areas become part of the solution for their sustainability. UNDP projects also link these countries to actions under the Kyoto protocol to reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases, CO2 from combustion processes (wood), being one of the major ones.


Bricks can be made without burning and the use of sun-dried bricks of soil is practiced since thousands of years, called adobe. In modern times, also rammed bricks are made, by compressing soil and then sun-dry them. These bricks however are not very strong, nor durable and tend to crack on drying, especially if so called "black cotton soil" is used.

It is therefore proposed to mix soil with sand and cement, while adding some water and then compress this material in a form giving mould, which results in strong and durable bricks, that do not crack. This can be done with simple and yet innovative manually operated brick presses, to produce interlocking soil bricks without burning from the freely available soil around (any kind of), allowing the rural population to build their own durable houses.

This fits well in environmental programs, that aim to reduce rural poverty and sustain economic growth, ensuring that future generations will be able to benefit from the rich environmental resources of the country, while reversing the loss of them.

Feasible, affordable and environmentally friendly, including significant cost savings and on-going environmental benefits, building with soil bricks is one of the most environmentally-sound building technologies in the world today, utilizing on-site available soils, as the main ingredient of the soil bricks.

The environment is protected in several ways:

  • It lessens the environmental impact of building construction. The need for lumber is substantially reduced, thereby curtailing deforestation, drought, soil erosion, flooding, species displacement as well as the greenhouse effect
  • It saves money. On-site manufacturing of brick eliminates a large portion of transportation, middlemen and breakage cost. This is because the soil bricks that might get broken for one reason or another, can be recycled through the manufacturing process. The structures made with soil bricks are as beautiful and durable as housing made from conventional bricks. The higher acoustical qualities of these houses shut out exterior noise for less stressful living. The interlocking blocks are more thermally radiant than conventional bricks and reduce the need to heat or cool the interior.
When the bricks leave the machine, they are already strong enough to be handled for storage and they reach there final strength about a day later, when the cement has cured.

There is hence no need to burn the bricks, which makes this process a very low-energy requiring one. The soil is thought to originate for free from the building site itself and constitutes between 70 and 80% of the total mass of the bricks.

The press delivers bricks that are interlocking and thus don’t require jointing cement. This process uses 75% less cement than the conventional method. The bricks have cavities, that are filled by pouring thin cement, as to seal the bricks over their whole length and between the vertical joints, keeping small insects (ants) and rain water (drought) out. If required, steel or bamboo rods can be placed in the cavities as well, which would provide for earthquake resistant structures.

One of the main features of this brick type is, that it has more resilient strength than its fired counterparts. The secret of its success, is the composition of materials and the forming under moderate pressures. The soil brick is suitable especially for use in multi-storey buildings, due to its durability and robustness. It allows to abandon the inflexible and costly steel supported concrete column construction.

The bricks' cell interlocking system, eliminates the need for a horizontal mortar bed and anchoring reinforcements in wall corners and joints, thus reducing the demand for highly skilled brick layers, all together cutting the costs of construction considerably. Apart from the environmental benefits, the expected price of a pressed brick versus a conventional, burned brick, is at least 1:4 lower.

Brick presses allow rural people to create independently their own affordable bricks to build houses themselves and not have to rely on salesmen and production in towns, bad roads, transport problems and fluctuating prices. A brick press can be operated by the house builder himself or somebody can make a business of it, by serving other members of his community.

This simple, yet innovative technology can generate income when used as service to other villagers, which alleviates poverty and saves the forest at the same time. Most rural inhabitants are farmers who are often only busy for 6 months of the year and look for other employment during the remaining 6 months.

Though the idea of pressing bricks from soil is far from new and many have made an effort, for some unknown reasons this technology doesn't seem to have made its brake through. In my view it must have to do with wrong management, because the demand, or at least the need is there and the technology is simple (once you know how to do it).

Depletion of Forest Resources

By Zak Miller


Echo systems around the world help sustain life for millions of species. Echo systems that are mainly forests provide a home for a large majority of the species alive. Therefore the trees in these forests are considered to be the most important species. Although it is true, that most species are not able to sustain without each other.

There are many benefits that we get from our forests. Some of these include cleaner drinking water, a home for plants and animals, economic growth, clean air, recreational opportunities, reassuring future. Another benefit we get from trees is called oxygen. If there were no trees to give us oxygen to breath, we would not be able to live. So if you need one good reason why a forest should exist, staying alive is a pretty good reason.


Forests have many resources that people can use to raise their living standards. One example is the wood for building houses. Certain wood materials last a long time, they keep the house warm and make it easy to manufacture homes. Unfortunately the world is overpopulating and the demand for a higher standard of living is constantly on the rise. Therefore the demand for more resources is growing to levels that cannot be sustained. Since forests provide a large portion of the world’s resources, many forests are cut down or burned.

The cause for cutting down forests is directly associated with the high demand for wood to manufacture paper products and lumber for other manufacturing. We practically use wood for everything. It is used in home building, marine products, furniture and the list seems like it’s endless. Just look around yourself right now and chances are you will find a product within your reach that is made of wood. Not only is wood a good building material, but it also has great aesthetic qualities. Most people appreciate a nice wooden dining table set or classic wooden rails on a staircase. Unfortunately we don’t always take in to account how many trees need to be cut down so we can have these luxuries in our lives.

Another major direct cause for forest depletion is simply burning forests for farmland. This is more common with countries that are undeveloped and have tropical rainforests. Many poor farmers in these countries burn or cut small portions of tropical forests so they can have room for farming and cattle. But the big scale problem is created when huge corporate farms burn thousands of square acres a year. They need this much room so they can provide farming on a much larger scale to compete in the world market for food. The reason forests are burned for the farmland is due to the rich minerals fertility of the soil.

Unfortunately even the large scale farmers in undeveloped countries are not educated on how they can maximize their results when reusing the soil. Therefore the soil is used up and left as a desert while the farmers burn more forest to make another farm. The Amazon rainforest which is the largest in the world has fallen victim to such deforestations. This forest is located in South America where countries are having tough financial times. Brazil’s market is a third of all the Latin countries included. Yet “Brazil's foreign debt, except in the most implausible of positive economic circumstances, is simply unsustainable in the years ahead” (CRF.org 2002). Economical pressure on a country is another big cause that will force a country to deforestation such as the case in Brazil. Basic Science and Remote Sensing Initiative (BSRSI) show data that between 1978 to 1988 230,000 square miles, nearly the size of Texas was affected by deforestation (bsrsi.msu.edu). That is 16.5% of the whole rainforest in the Amazon.

The next example shows the cause of deforestation for farming. According to The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), "Between 1990 and 2001 the percentage of Europe's processed meat imports that came from Brazil rose from 40 to 74 percent" and by 2003 "For the first time ever, the growth in Brazilian cattle production-80 percent of which was in the Amazon-was largely export driven." As more roads are built to provide access to forests in undeveloped countries more deforestation is evident.


As mentioned earlier, we get a large portion of our oxygen from vegetation such as trees. Since most trees live in forests it is important to realize the negative impact deforestation may have on our air quality. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas that has an impact on the greenhouse effect. There is a cycle between CO2 producers such as cars and CO2 consumers such as plants. Together they create the “Global Carbon Cycle”. The plants and soil of tropical forests hold 460-575 billion metric tons of carbon worldwide (McKane et al. 1995). From 1850 to 1990, deforestation worldwide released 122 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere, with the current rate being between 1.6 billion metric tons per year (Skole et al. 1998). In comparison, all of the fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) burned during a year release about 6 billion tons per year. Therefore deforestation even when compared to all the other pollution plays a significant role in Global Warming and clean air.

Another extent of the problem with deforestation is a decrease in biodiversity. Biodiversity is important for Ecosystem sustainability, agriculture, medicine, recreation, aesthetic and commercial value. There are about 5 to 80 million species that live on this earth (Lawton and May 1995). Tropical rainforests cover about 7% of the world, but are home to more than half of the species living in the world. After a forest is cut down, many species cannot live without it and possibly go extinct. Since we depend on these species for many resources, their extension will rob us of their benefits. Perhaps we might destroy the next cure for AIDS by deforestation and not know it.


The negative impacts of deforestation are getting noticed internationally. Many countries are taking steps to reduce the problem for a more sustainable earth. Unfortunately financial gain and high competition still exists with deforestation, and for some it’s the only way of survival. Many people are not educated about the long term results their actions may cause. Because of these reasons deforestation is still a reality around the world in many countries.

With more international involvement, countries will take effective steps to bring deforestation to sustainable levels. But there is still a great deal of work to be done. For some forests it is still not too late to bring them back quicker. Other forests that have been clear-cut might take centuries to grow to the original state. Areas where pesticides were used it is possible that the echo system was damaged and may take a long time to grow again. Many forests were replaced by large banana plantations. These plantations use pesticides that kill many species that are vital for an echo system to sustain. Erosion caused by deforestation may bring more water pollution in the future and may affect agriculture in the area. Other reasons for deforestation are simply to provide room for paved roads, residential and commercial development that are caused by urban sprawl. These types of developments permanently destroy forests. Deforestation is a serious threat to life’s future on our planet. It has major effects on our global climate. It leads to the loss of millions of species that are important in sustaining a living earth.


As we discussed the causes for deforestation, we realize how these causes are very different. Because the causes are often controlled by a countries economy, overpopulation and many other social reasons, it is impossible to find one solution to deforestation. Although there are many solutions, it will take time and cooperation of many different groups of people and organizations to make the solutions work.

One popular solution that has been in effect for a few decades is forest conservation. We can work internationally, regionally, and locally with organizations to develop policy and influence industries to help ensure a sustainable future for forests. Conservation helps protect, manage, and restore the world's most important forests by identifying threats and developing solutions to them.

Decrease the amount of products that are made as a result of deforestation. For example, using materials other than wood to build homes, furniture and other common products made of wood. Encourage recyclable materials so people don’t go back to wood again. Switching from wood to other materials will decrease the demand/supply for wood.

Implement more efficient farming methods to encourage the reuse of land.

Educate people around the world about the negative impacts of deforestation, and what can be done to prevent it. Help finance more educational programs. Help countries make the right economic decisions.

Sign international treaties and make laws/regulations to control annual deforestation.

Import meat and dairy products from markets that do not cause deforestation.

The solution that I believe will be very effective is the second one. As far as cutting down trees, this is a very workable solution. We have too many products that are made of wood today. As economies grow around the world, the middle class will also grow. This middle class will demand more and more products that are made of wood. The American middle class is obsessed with wood products and we don’t even realize it. A large portion of our homes are built from wood, and so is our furniture. Most cabinets alone require so much wood. If we like wood products so will the rest of the world.

The solution is to take the majority of the wood products and find alternative materials to them. This of course is not as easy as it sounds, but it is very doable. Once it is done, it will extremely decrease the demand for wood, therefore reducing deforestation. With such high advances in technology we can travel in space and replace hearts. Therefore it is possible to make materials that are safe for the environment and replace wood. Maybe even make materials that share most of the properties that wood has. We can even invent materials that imitate wood like the “burled wood” in our cars today. This “burled wood” in most cars isn’t even wood anymore, it is some kind of a plastic and a pattern to imitate the look of the wood. Speaking of the auto industry, I can’t believe how advanced our cars have become. These are cars that we drive everyday. Yet we live in new houses that were built with an ancient method of wood and nails. I think that is ridiculous. Perhaps the solution to replace wood with alternative materials will also lead to more efficient assembly methods and a safer environment. And most importantly the first solution is changing our attitude to help prevent deforestation.

The Depletion of Forest Resources is a huge problem with challenging solutions, let us work as a team around the world to help solve these issues.

Illegal Logging and Biodiversity Degradation in the Tropics

By Nophea Kim Phat

Logging is a wood harvesting practice of extracting commercial with mostly merchantable timber from a forest. What does this mean? What and why is tropical forest degradation?

Tropical forest is diverse in terms of flora (plant species) and fauna (wildlife species); it provides various goods such as timber for construction, and non-timber products such as tree resin, medicines, bee honey, mushroom, food, meat, firewood etc. for daily livelihood of the local population. Forest also provides various services such as protection of local cultures and belief, clean water, watershed protection, fresh air and climate regulation. Unfortunately, tropical forest is located in a continent experiencing rapid economic development and fast growing population along with political uncertainties, and where most of the poor live.

Tropical forest has been cleared for population resettlements or displacements, agricultural cultivation, and sometimes due to the indiscriminate logging practices that open uncontrolled accessible road to the anarchic landless farmers who continue to settle and clear the forests for housing and agricultural cultivation. The rate of deforestation of the tropical natural forest is about 0.7% or 14.4 million ha annually between 1980 and 2003. Tropical deforestation is responsible for the release of about 20-29% of the global carbon emissions. It has been estimated that total area of tropical rain forest declines from 14% of the earth's total land surface to 6% in recent year. Tropical rain forest is losing about 137 plant, animal and insect species every due to deforestation.

In additional to tropical deforestation, forest degradation and biodiversity loss are facing the tropical forest. Logging (legal and illegal) has contributed to tropical forest degradation and biodiversity loss. How does it happen? Selective logging practice is a common system being used in logging industry in the tropics. Selective logging is a practice whereby only commercial and merchantable trees are harvested leaving behind uncommercial and unmerchantable trees in the forests. Uncommercial tree is tree which is unsuitable for industrial wood products; thus has less value in the wood market, while unmerchantable tree is tree that its size, quality and condition are not suitable for wood market. Tropical forest is uneven-aged forest, having many trees of various ages or age classes.

Tropical forest regenerates naturally. Although tropical forest contains many thousands of tree species, only about a dozen or less of the tree species have commercial values or are traded in the world's wood market. This is how forest degradation starts. As a matter of the real world practices, loggers as well as forest dwellers when entered the forests look for commercial timber species and harvest. Although they are likely to fell only the merchantable trees, unmerchantable trees are likely to be felled as well when there are no more commercial merchantable trees left. So, every time the logging takes place, commercially trees are targeted again and again, leaving only UNWANTED and uncommercial trees in the forest. As the time goes by, commercial trees area gradually degraded, and even disappeared leading to the degradation of the forest and biodiversity loss. Forest dependent communities suffer the most from such degradation since commercial trees from which they collect non-forest products (resins, bee honey and others) are losing. Traditionally in Cambodia, newly married couples had inherited some dozen of trees (commercial trees) from their parents for living in stead of money.

One would ask about the forest laws and logging regulations in the tropics. As per my knowledge, almost every country has them, but enforcement is the problem. There are high illegal logging rates (up to about 80% in some countries), corruption and political uncertainties in the tropics. Political situation and commitment play an important role is illegal logging. Most illegal logging usually occurs when political situation in a country in concern is not stable such as during the Coup De'tat, civil war and election campaigns.

Furthermore, it has been estimated globally that about one-fifth of the wood production comes from illegal source. The continuous illegal logging activities may also have resulted from the availability of markets that provide access to the illegally logged timber. With high illegal logging rate and its continuous existence, it is clearly that valuable trees (commercial and merchantable trees) are being targeted, and therefore degraded. As tropical forest degradation and deforestation continue, the loss of biodiversity in the tropics also continues. The non-inclusion of tropical forest management in the present Kyoto Protocol agreement has discouraged sound forest management in the tropics.

Tropical Rainforests - 4 Ways to Stop Deforestation

By Tony Mandarich

It's hard to imagine that we would knowingly destroy something so valuable; could it be that we are destroying them before we realize their worth? Before we truly understand their biodiversity? And even before we fully understand the life and the ecosystems they support?

Massive deforestation brings with it many horrifying consequences - air and water pollution, soil erosion, the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the eviction and decimation of indigenous Indian tribes, and the extinction of many plants, animals and creatures. Fewer rainforests mean less rain, less oxygen for us to breathe, and an increased threat of global warming.

Confucius said, "A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake." Clearly deforestation is man's mistake. So how do we correct this mistake? Can we correct this mistake?

If deforestation ceased today, it would help immensely, but unfortunately would not be enough. We have lost complete species, both in plant and animal life; however, all is not lost. What we can hope for in bringing deforestation to an end is a new beginning; new species to evolving and the rebirth of this diminishing treasure.

With the rapid loss of Earth's rainforests, it's time to correct our mistake. There is no simple solution or quick fix, but there are definitely steps that can be taken to stop the deforestation and restore not only the damaged ecosystems, but the beauty of life that's been lost.

Four Invaluable Steps to Saving Our Rainforests:

Step #1: Education

In the last 20 years, deforestation has claimed millions of square miles of tropical rainforests, and to protect their future we need to develop sound educational initiatives. Education programs and curricula for each grade level is vital as children of today are our future. Encouraging good global citizenship in school aged children will help them develop a deeper understanding of conservation challenges, as well as a healthy respect for the environment. Education cannot, however, stop with school-aged kids; adults need the same education about deforestation and preventative measures.

Educational resources are now becoming widely available to educators. For example, Paradise Earth Scholastic is Paradise Earth's academic service and the Internet's premier source for rainforest education, replete with educational curricula for first and secondary education, multimedia educational features, and resources for research and teaching. Paradise Earth Scholastic will be available online at www.paradiseearth.com by January 2009.

Step #2: Conservation Policies

Saving tropical rainforests is a worldwide responsibility, not just the responsibility of the country the forests are home to. Stronger policies prohibiting deforestation need to be written and enforced; our responsibility lies quite a bit deeper. If the international community wants to provide a higher level of protection of these forests, financial resources have to be a major part of the conservation strategy.

Historically, world governments have been willing to grant loans to tropical nations, and in some cases even cancel debts owed by them in exchange for environmental protection. For example, the British government recently assigned $150 million to preservation and sustainable development of tropical forests around the globe. Germany cleared Kenya of its $400 million debt when Kenya agreed to pass environmental legislation.

In 2001, President Clinton proposed $150 million in funds to assist developing countries preserve their tropical forests while strengthening their economies. Under the budget, $100 million would go towards conservation programs (through the U.S. Agency for International Development-USAID), while $37 million would be slated for debt-for-nature swaps under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act.

In addition to financial support, developed nations can also provide their conservation expertise to developing countries and assist in the planning of new protected areas.

Step #3: Restore & Re-grow

Though fully restoring our lost rainforests seems impossible, a myriad of studies and rebirth projects have been conducted worldwide.

In September 2008 the announcement came that the first Kihansi spray toadlet was born at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo. This little creature was last seen in the wild May of 2005. The birth of the Kihansi toadlet has renewed hopes that the species can someday be successfully reintroduced to its natural habitat in a remote gorge in Tanzania.

In other news, researchers from the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Sciences (BTI) on the Cornell campus are attempting what many thought was impossible -- restoring a tropical rain forest ecosystem. Ten years after the tree plantings, Cornell graduate student Jackeline Salazar counted the species of plants that took up residence in the shade of the new-planted areas. She found remarkably high numbers of species -- more than 100 in each plot. And many of the new arrivals were also to be found in nearby remnants of the original forests.

It may take hundreds of years to regain what has been lost, but every year we see evidence that the "impossible" is actually quite possible.

Step #4: Support Ecotourism

According to United Nations World Tourism Organization (http://www.unwto.org/sdt/mission/en/mission.php), sustainable tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems.

Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment while enhancing the cultural integrity of local people and their economy. From 1993 to 2003 alone, tourism to 23 countries harboring biodiversity hotspots grew by 100 percent.

At first glance, it seems that ecotourism was designed for the traveler, but its intent is much greater. Ecotourism creates jobs in food and beverage service, hotel and resort industry, transportation, and many other industries. Because Ecotourism relies on healthy ecosystems, it provides a powerful incentive to protect our rainforests. People who earn their living from ecotourism are more likely to protect local natural resources and support conservation efforts.

Correcting the "mistake" of deforestation could still be probable; but not without an overdose of human effort to finally bring an end to the demise of tropical rainforests. No matter how unreachable this goal may seem, our mistake still has a chance of being corrected.

Development Vs Tropical Rainforest

By Pax Sanchez

I few weeks ago I came across an article about the deforestation situation of all the tropical rainforests. It talked about the main causes this beautiful places, origin to thousands of different life forms, are being damaged by people in so many different ways, among others: subsistence agriculture, colonization, tourism, and civilization development (savetherainforest). This latter caught my attention the most, because last week I went to my teak farm, and I got to see with my own eyes how a highway development affects our rainforest and trees so badly.

My teak farm is located about 1 hour drive from Panama City, it is located in the Colon province, home of Colon City (second biggest city in our country, Panama). Last year the government decided to build a long overdue highway connecting both cities (of course I am all for improving the quality of life of my countrymen) but I can not agree with the amount of deforestation that took place in order to build this highway.

Hundred of acres deforested in order to make way for four lanes that will bring better days to a lot of people, no doubt; but also brought a lot of disorder and chaos to a well established eco system that has being here long before us, and will continue to be here for (hopefully) thousands or millions of years after every single one of us has left this world.

Since development of cities is inevitable, specially today where commerce since to grow exponentially, cities expand rapidly, and the whole world seems to be at everybody s fingertips, we need better way of transport and communication, but could we also be more interested in both preserving and saving tropical rainforests and trees? The answer is a big OF COURSE! I would have loved to see our government promoting the planting of trees in different areas of our country in order to make up for the ones lost during the development of this highway, or during the construction of so many other infrastructures around the country. Also having more people come forward and speak up as energetic and belligerent they are about so many other problems we have on this planet. Maybe all we need are more ways to let people know about this, get them involved.

Since so much rainforest is lost every year, roughly about twice the size of the state of FLORIDA, this has become a problem for every single one of us earthlings, I think we need to get the word out, raise awareness and get people involved! Tropical Rainforest account for only 2% of land surface but through photosynthesis of trees they take massive amounts of CO2 emissions and make air clean and breathable again for every one of us. SO WE ALL NEED OUR RAINFOREST AND MORE TREES!!

Get involved in saving the rainforest!

By Pax Sanchez

In order to understand to what extend deforestation affects us all, we need first to understand and realize two things; how much we get out of rainforests and the abundance of life living within rainforests.

Rainforests are places that work as oxygen factories, trees take as much CO2 as they possibly can and convert it into breathable air or oxygen through photosynthesis. If we were to shut down these factories, I don't think there is a single person who could not see the chaos the world would become. I would like to mention as well that these factories also do another great and selfless act; they fight global warming and the green house effect by reducing the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere! Did I mention trees take care of these two specific chores just by existing and remain standing! It is beyond me why a person or corporation would destroy these magnificent places of well being and rich fauna which do humanity so much good.

As I said before in a prior post, there is no point trying to stop cities from developing and the ever growing need of more space for us living in this planet, but I am sure we all can do a lot more in order to stop reckless deforestation.
The rainforest are places of rich life, its constant hot climate and abundance of water through rain make of it a boiling stew of life! From all the insects which feed off an infinite array of flowers to the birds, monkeys, snakes, dolphins, alligators, big cats, and all the other species which are an intricate part of the whole planet's balance. Rainforests are rich sanctuaries to many forms of life, absolutely necessaries to the equilibrium of the planet's ecosystem.

These are some of the reasons why we all need to get involved today and start doing something. You don't need to make great changes in your life, maybe using less paper today at the office or plant a tree in your backyard, donate a tree online, etc!

Getting involved is easy, all it takes is determination and you will be making a huge different every day and setting a good example on your children and those around you.

Get out there and help us save the rainforests!