Offsetting Isn’t Enough To Save The Rainforest

Australian Rainforest plantPhoto: Tatters:)

It is a myth that carbon offsetting will undo the damage of losing the rainforest and the benefits it provides. Not only are precious trees cut down that provide a number of benefits for the environment, many species are lost that could help advance medicine and science in the name of creating more farmland. Merely offsetting carbon use is ineffective at reducing the heavy toll the loss of the rainforest has on the planet.

Ending deforestation is the most important step in protecting the rainforest from irrecoverable destruction. Even if trees are planted elsewhere deforestation to create farmland or housing causes an irreparable level of harm.

Kakamega-rainforestPhoto: Melanie Szirony

Trees that have been removed should be replanted in equal or greater amounts to offset the damage caused by cutting them down. This is not a perfect solution as many times the trees cut down cannot be readily replaced as the animals that inhabited them may have left the area but it is a beginning to protecting the rainforest.

Creating greater preservation zones in which the habitat is protected against logging or industrial ventures is another step towards saving the rainforest. Banning the use of industrial equipment or logging companies would allow the rainforest to begin healing in these preservation areas. As the rainforest heals, the preservation zones could be widened, creating a greater spread of the forest that would provide environmental benefits in excess of merely offsetting carbon.

Purchasing products that donate to rainforest protection agencies can also help to save the forest. In conjunction with carbon offsetting and donating to environmental charities this can help to reduce the number of trees lost on a daily basis.

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