The Prince’s Rainforest Project

Well I haven’t been riding too much recently, I’ve been working with The Prince’s Rainforests Project helping put their website together I’m going to expand on why this is important now and I’m not going to talk about cycling in this post, but bear with me, just this once.

The plight of the rainforest has been publically known for the last forty years, and sad to say, actual ground level stopping of rainforest destruction has been hard work, or almost ineffective. This needs global action! Thankfully some real progress is finally being made in working to make the rainforests worth more alive than dead. The Prince’s Rainforests Project was established by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, to raise awareness of the connection between rainforest destruction & climate change and the need for urgent action to tackle the problem of deforestation. The Project works with governments, business, and NGOs to find a way of ensuring Rainforest Nations and crucially, the people who live in rainforests, get more money by looking after rainforest and leaving the trees standing, rather than by the unsustainable action (but in the short term currently very profitable) of chopping them down. In order for policy on preservation of standing rainforest to change, world leader and policy-makers must be made aware that there is public understanding that deforestation is costing us the earth. Previous rainforest charities have focussed on preservation on grounds of biodiversity and land rights. Both are admirable and right reasons for preservation, but it would not be immediately apparent to us here in the West why that would matter. there has been the feeling that, it would be ‘a shame’ if the rainforests died off. However, it’s somewhat more serious than that:

  1. The destruction of tropical rainforests releases more carbon annually into the atmosphere than the entire global transport system. That’s more stored carbon released every year than the combined carbon released by all the cars, busses, ships and planes in the world over the same period!
  2. But rainforests are important for another reason. Mature tropical rainforests continue to sequester carbon at a rate of a few tonnes of CO2 per hectare each year. One study estimates that old-growth tropical forests absorb up to 15% of annual manmade GHG emissions.  So, in addition to the 17% of global GHG emissions resulting directly from tropical forest loss, tropical deforestation produces an ‘amplification effect’, because the stock of natural forests remaining to absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is reduced.
  3. In addition, the cloud cover over tropical rainforests provides an insulating belt around the planet, reflecting sunlight and evaporating moisture: this can reduce the ground temperature by as much as five degrees Celsius. This insulating effect is lost after forests are cleared.
  4. Recent scientific research indicates that deforestation in the Amazon region could also lead to droughts, which would trigger the release of carbon dioxide from vegetation and perhaps lead to a massive die-off in the world’s largest rainforest. These positive feedback effects could greatly accelerate global warming.
  5. That’s just the top-level stuff. Rainforests also regulate rainfall, maintain soil quality and are home to almost uncountable of species of plants and animals. For further information read up here.

If you have no time to do anything else, but you want to show your support for the rainforests, then please just fill in your details on the widget-thingy below. It’s free, no one is asking for money, just your voice.

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That’s all, back on your  bikes, go go go!