Rainforest: Dispatches From Earth's Most Vital Frontlines
Rainforests are the lungs of our planet - regulators of the earth's temperature and weather. They are also home to 50 per cent of the world's animals and plants - which for centuries have been the source of many of our key medicines. And yet we've all heard of their systematic destruction; the raising of trees to make way for plantations of oil palms or cattle, the disenfranchisement of indigenous peoples, and the corruption that leads to illegal logging and pollution.
But this is the full story you've never heard: an in depth, wide-ranging, first-hand narrative that not only looks at the state of the world's tropical rainforests today and the implications arising from their continuing decline, but also at what is being done, and can be done in future, to protect the forests and the 1.6 billion people that depend upon them. It is inspirational, too, in its descriptions of the rainforest's remarkable birds and plants ... and its indigenous people.
Rainforest is a personal story, drawing on Tony's many years' experience at the frontline of the fight to save the rainforests, explaining the science and history of the campaigns, and what it has felt like to be there, amid the conflicts and dilemmas.
Sources and further reading
Friends of the Earth was founded in the UK in 1971. Although early in its history the group ran a campaign for the protection of whales, it was mainly focused on domestic UK issues, such as air and water pollution, waste and British wildlife. In 1984 it embarked on its first truly international venture: the campaign for the tropical rainforests. This in turn became one of the catalysts that helped build the organization’s international network, which when I departed in 2008 (and by when I was Vice Chair of the global network as well as Director of our operation in in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) was comprised of more than 70 national organizations.
The results of the FAO’s 1990 assessment that revealed the loss of moist tropical forests to be running at about one per cent per year, can be found here:
Part One: Earth's Most Vital Systems
Part Two: The Americas
Part Three: Africa
Part Four: Asia and the Pacific
Part Five: Worth More Alive Than Dead