Deforestation Endangers Many Species
Deforestation generates about 20 percent of greenhouse gasses, which contribute to global warming and climate change. Deforestation also cripples our planet’s ability to filter carbon dioxide from our air. Unfortunately, deforestation also threatens entire watersheds, endangered species and endangered cultures around the world.
If all CO2 emissions stopped today, climate change will still intensify because of existing carbon in the atmosphere. Energy conservation, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture are vital, but we need proven carbon capture strategies to help restore balance to our atmosphere. We need our forests more than ever.
We can develop a new economy around renewal and sustainability. We’re talking about grassroots renewal and reform.
Tanzania, for example, lost more than half of its elephants to poachers over the past decade. They could be wiped out entirely in just five or six years. Adding to the crisis, there has been loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity as a result of fragmentation and loss of critical ecosystem linkages and over-exploitation of the natural habitats. This loss of habitat brings humans and wildlife into more and more conflict over food, water and space–which means more bloodshed.
The world is at a turning point. Ecosystems in some regions are on the verge of collapse. Balancing record human populations with diminishing and degraded natural resources is getting more challenging every day. Meanwhile, climate change is making that balancing act more complex, as agriculture, water, wildlife and communities are feeling the impact in most regions of the world.
Because of these factors, biodiversity is under assault like never before and the web of life could collapse in some regions of the world within a few years. Each regional collapse will contribute to the global spiral. Eastern Africa is one region that’s at a critical point now. Momentum is already working against us and some fundamental priorities must emerge for immediate action and lasting impact. For example, elephants and rhinos in Africa face extinction within a decade. Glaciers on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya are retreating as temperatures rise and precipitation is less frequent. The lives of millions of people hang in the balance. Without immediate, comprehensive strategies, the ecosystem in this area will collapse. The threat is not limited to Africa.
Thanks to collaborative and comprehensive planning by enthusiastic leaders in Kenya and Tanzania, we have a plan for a massive conservation program in Eastern Africa. These diverse stakeholders are feeling the pressures of climate change. They believe in a shift to greater sustainability. They sense the urgency of more comprehensive wildlife conservation strategies, including aggressive community engagement, education and economic development. As you will see, several stakeholder organizations are eager to take action. They have submitted several proposals to Sacred Seedlings to help address all of these issues simultaneously. We promised to do what we can to help them raise the necessary funding and procure additional technical expertise as requested.
For more information about reforestation and economic development, or to help support these projects in East Africa, please visit http://sacredseedlings.com/east-africa-projects/ Crossbow is leading the campaign to fund these vital projects in East Africa and around the world.