Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:It is a very disturbing fact that we humans have managed to destroy one tenth of the planet’s remaining wilderness areas during the last 25 years and there may be none left at all by the end of the century if we carry on in the same way.
Nearly one third of the loss of wilderness was in the Amazon where large areas of pristine rainforest are still being destroyed despite the Brazilian government’s action on slowing deforestation rates in recent years. Another 14% of wilderness has disappeared in central Africa, where thousands of species, including forest elephants and chimpanzees live. If the world were to lose its last untouched refuges, this would be catastrophic for not only endangered species but also from a climate change aspect, as these forests store vast amounts of carbon.
There are good reasons why we need to protect these wilderness areas; they are a reference point for pre-human activity even though the poorest of the poor are living there; the biodiversity must be preserved and we need the forests to absorb the large amounts of carbon we produce. If we lose more forests in these areas, world leaders will have an even harder job to try to control our carbon emissions and fulfil their pledges to tackle climate change at COP21 in Paris last year.
While there are strongholds of wilderness in Canada, Australia, Asia and parts of central Africa, they are the jewels in the crown and must be protected at all costs.
Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.