Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saving the Rainforest

Yesterday I came across an article on the BBC website about the first donation having been made to a new Brazilian project to save the Amazon Rainforest. Brazil has decided to attempt to raise $21 billion to educate their population on the dangers of clear cutting and burning the rainforest and Norway has made the first donation of $1 billion. While this is being framed as a program to stop global warming, it also serves a much greater purpose. While the program will help to cut greenhouse gases by reducing the burning of the trees that are cut down and by the forest cleaning the air and reducing greenhouse gases, hundreds or even thousands of species will be saved due to this effort.

By protecting nature reserves in Brazil, many birds, both resident and migratory, will be saved. Although many of our nesting species stop well short of the Amazon, spending their winters in Central America; there are some species, such as the Cerulean and Connecticut Warblers that only winter in critical Amazonian habitat. While quite a few other countries are considering giving money to the project, the United States is absent from the list.

How can it be that our government is willing to spend $85 billion to save a failing company but they haven’t yet contributed to this critical project? Not only could this money cover the cost of the entire project 4 times over, it would have also been spent to protect more land here in the United States or to keep up the current refuges and parks that never get enough funding to be properly run and managed. In fact, the money could have bought approximately 13000 square miles of land here in the United States, which is approximately twice the size of New Jersey.

I say if you can find the money to save a company that’s actions have caused its downfall, why can’t you find the money to protect critical wildlife habitats across the world.

You can read the BBC article here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7621179.stm.

Let us know what you think about this situation.

1 comment:

Chad said...

Great point!!! Lately, instead of buying material gifts for people, I have been buying trees for people in the rainforest through the Nature Conservancy's "Plant a Billion Trees" campaign. I like the fact the our local Amos Butler Audubon has been putting a bulk of our Birdathon money into Cerulean habitat. Somebody has to!