Part of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada (JGI Canada), Roots & Shoots Canada is currently running a forest campaign called Planet Releaf. The purpose of Planet Releaf is to encourage Roots & Shoots groups to focus their projects on forest-related issues and take part in coordinated activities and events. In doing so, groups’ projects will be united around a common theme in order to increase their impact.
Forests are a vital part of life on earth—they provide a home for biodiversity, purify the air and water and supply raw materials that sustain basic human needs. Forests are also a place for recreation, and play a central role in the cultures, faiths and traditions of many societies.
In Canada, the forestry sector is an integral component of our economy, providing direct and indirect employment for hundreds of thousands of Canadians. Unfortunately, the world’s forests are under increasing pressure from human development and the rate at which we are losing forests is unsustainable. As the third largest forest nation in the world, Canadians have a responsibility to take care of this valuable resource.
The net annual rate of deforestation worldwide is equal to an area the size of Panama! Every year, forests are harvested or cleared for a variety of reasons, leaving very little original forest cover and adversely affecting many natural processes. Approximately 20% of all carbon dioxide emissions are the result of tropical deforestation and forest degradation. Climate change also affects forests by changing ecosystem cycles, which can lead to pest infestations and land degradation.
We are all dependent upon the vital social and ecological services forests provide. Yet we also expect forests to produce wood and other products for our consumption. Accordingly, there are a variety of approaches used to conserve and manage forest resources while aiming to balance these two seemingly opposing demands. Canada has the third largest forest area in the world, representing 30% and 20% of the world’s boreal forest and temperate rainforests, respectively. These are important contributors to Canada’s culture and economy, but are being unsustainably cut down; 50% of Canada’s temperate rainforests have already been logged and 400,000 hectares of boreal forest are cleared each year.
You can help out by raising awareness in your communities about the importance of conserving our natural resources. You can also help by raising funds for JGI Canada! I will be holding a fundraiser in August to sell hand-made soap made from all natural ingredients that is not only eco-friendly but is also bio-degradable! Isn’t that great??!! If you’d like to know more about the coming up fundraiser or would like to help out, let me know!
Will update on the fundraiser in the coming weeks!