It’s no secret that the rainforest is an important part of the health of the planet. One of the many names given to these all-important forests are the “Lungs of the world.” This is because of the role they play in absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, and releasing oxygen to the world. They are also home to fragile ecosystems that are home to thousands of species that are close to extinction, and even some that are yet to be discovered.
However, not everyone would see the rainforest in the same way. To others, it’s just a hindrance in the way of economic gain. While it is true these forests do hold quite serious economic value, it’s their value to the planetary environment that is more valuable. But still, thousands of acres of rainforest are destroyed every year.
What can be done?
Boosting prosperity of the people around the forests
One feature of these forests is that they tend to be pretty remote, away from cities and large human settlements. The people who live around them tend to be settlements of people living just above, at, or near the poverty line. Since everyone wants to prosper, they will use whatever resources they see fit, and that means the land under the rainforest.
Thousands of acres of rainforest has been set on fire by farmers who would want to use the and to do some subsistence farming. With population increase and pressure on resources in the settlements, more and more people move into the rainforests.
One way to stop this is to provide alternative methods of economic empowerment. These could include situating cottage industries close to the settlements. Aside from cottage industries, large scale farming could be implemented on land already available to offset the need to get more land, and also aid in reforestation efforts.
Ethical Supply Chains are a must
One feature of big businesses is that they tend to get products on the cheap, and sell them forward for surprisingly large profits. The producers of the products end up getting exploited to get the products at very predatory prices. Instead of helping lift them out of poverty, this just perpetuates the cycle. To break it, the producers will turn to the rainforest.
An ethical supply chain will mean that only products from producers who are not involved in deforestation can make their way into the world market. This can be achieved through regular inspection of production facilities, as well as certification for the producers. Only those with certificates can sell their products.
This is a powerful tool to help keep producers away from using the rainforest as a means of production. This very same method has worked in Ghana, where cocoa producers have helped to reclaim thousands of acres of rainforest land.
But that’s not all. With a transparent supply chain, the farmers could get properly compensated for their products, thus improving their lives and helping to cut down on the rate of deforestation in the country.