At Wooden Blinds Direct we only use the highest quality basswood for our blinds, and we ensure that all of it is sourced from an FSC certified supplier. The FSC is a global forest certification system that identifies if wood, paper and other byproducts derive from responsibly managed, sustainable sources. The organization is dedicated to keeping forests alive for future generations. FSC’s tick logo indicates that materials are certified, and signals to customers that this product doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment.
Unfortunately, not all retailers are as environmentally conscious as us. One of the main causes of deforestation is logging, with timber companies chopping down huge trees and selling them on for construction and furniture. Smaller trees are also destroyed, their wood used in charcoal production. Other trees of little value are used for wood chipping. The global demand for wood products is truly damaging to these forests, and it’s saddening to think that by 2030, more than half of the world’s largest rainforest will be gone.
But it’s not only the Amazon rainforest that is suffering. Forests across the globe are being damaged and destroyed, robbing species of their homes and having a devastating impact on global warming. Here are some of the world’s most endangered rainforests…
Madagascar & Indian Ocean Islands
Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands’ tropical and subtropical forests are at serious risk. Among the poorest countries in the world, these regions’ environmental problems stem from their people’s dependence on natural resources. Poverty-stricken communities rely on deforestation in order to grow food; acres of trees are destroyed and the land transformed into rice fields. With such little money, the income from timber logging is also difficult to refuse (Madagascar’s hardwoods, rosewood and ebony, can fetch around £1,500 per tonne in international markets).
The forests of Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands are home to a fantastic range of animals and plants, including over 50 lemur species and rare orchids. Sadly, slash-and-burn agriculture and wholesale logging wreak havoc on this ecosystem, inflicting irreparable damage on some of the most unique and beautiful species in the world. Around 10% of this forestry is left.
The world famous home of Great Pandas, red pandas and golden monkeys, the rainforests of southwest China face irreparable damage. Deforestation, road building and dams are causing the region to shrink, and there is currently only 8% of the original forest left. Plantations are a particularly big issue for the forests in Yunnan; native trees are felled to make room for fast-growing eucalyptus and rubber trees, which produce paper pulp and latex, respectively.
Stripping China’s forests of its indigenous plants wreaks havoc on various animals, destroying the homes that these species have kept for incalculable years. Furthermore, logging ancient trees releases an era’s worth of carbon, which is a significant contribution to global warming.
Indonesia and Malaysia boast one of the most biologically diverse areas of the world, the Sundaland. With 17,000 islands, including Borneo and Sumatra, the Sundaland plays host to a huge percentage of the planet’s plant, bird, fish and mammal species. With many of these being totally unique to the Sundaland, it’s extremely worrying that only 7% of the forested region is left (Indonesia’s deforestation rate is approximately 300 football pitches per hour – a truly shocking fact).
The majority of the countries’ populations rely on farming to survive. As such, the landscape is destroyed in favour of rubber, pulp and oil palm production. The disappearing forests take with them some of the world’s most endangered species: orangutans, Sumatran tigers and Southeast Asian Rhinos.
The Atlantic forest spans Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, running its way down South America’s Atlantic coastline. Almost half of its 20,000 plant species are exclusive to the region, and it contains even more biodiversity per acre than the Amazon. Sadly, much of its plant life and animal species are seriously at risk.
The Atlantic forest’s most endangered species are jaguars, red-tailed parrots, golden lion tamarins and maned three-toed sloths, and their dwindling figures are owed to the destruction of their habitat.
75% of the Brazilian population live within the region, meaning over 100 million people rely on the forest for fresh water. There is also high demand for cropland for sugar and coffee plantations, which puts a lot of pressure on the Atlantic.
Of course, we can’t discuss the world’s most endangered rainforests without mentioning the Amazon. Though deforestation here has slowed considerably since the early ‘90s, its remaining forest remains in a worrying position. Cattle ranching and agriculture are the main culprits of deforestation, along with loggings and orchid hunting. Combined, these activities contribute to a 17% forest loss in the last 50 years. The world’s largest rainforest is forecasted a frightening future, with a quarter of the region to be destroyed if trends continue.
The Amazon’s threatened species include the giant otter, the tapir, the jaguar and the spider monkey. In terms of plants, around 80% of the world’s green flowering species live in the Amazon, and though it’s very difficult to know exactly how many are at risk of extinction, it’s safe to assume that many are on the verge.
Rainforests aren’t just home to millions of animals and plants, but sources of crop pollination, medicine and fertility. They provide clean air and fresh water. They supply jobs. Without action, our planet may lose over 650,000 square miles of forest – that’s an area almost seven times the size of the UK.
Deforestation doesn’t just destroy beautiful, millennia-old trees and plants, but it threatens quality of life on a global scale. And with 15% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from the destruction of forests, it’s in our best interests to do something. And quick.
Do you feel passionately about sustainability and deforestation? Get in touch with us @InteriorGoods and let us know what you think, and be sure to click the button below to discover our range of sustainable wooden blinds.