December 2009 – A Study by World Growth
A great deal of criticism has been leveled at the global forest industry for its apparent contribution to biodiversity loss. Those undertaking forestry in natural forests are accused of wholesale forest destruction, leading to significant biodiversity loss. At the same time, those in the private sector that are establishing forest plantations are accused of propagating “sterile monocultures” that harbor little or no biodiversity. Consequently, the perception of forestry in the global environmental debate is that it is the enemy of flora and fauna. This perception rests on two assumptions. First, that forestry – plantation or natural – is a major cause of deforestation and therefore biodiversity loss. Second, that forest plantations harbor no biodiversity. NGOs need to decide if they are simply going to campaign against economic development in poor countries – which appears to be their current strategy – or if they actually want to give both the poor and the environment a stronger chance for survival.
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