April 19, 2011

Brazilian Forests Win Big Just Before Earth Day

Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com

Just days before Earth Day, tropical dry forests in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais received good news as members of the Superior Court of Minas Gerais overturned a state law that altered the status of the 6,000 square-mile forest's protection.

The tropical dry forests can thank a project called Tropi-Dry for the success of overturning the law that left the area unprotected from logging.

The effort taken by these scientists rings of truth that man can still make a difference on this planet.  The state law that was overturned would have allowed a 70 percent clearing of Minas Gerais' forests.

However, despite the victory in Minas Gerais, many of the world's forests still face the threat of deforestation.

A National Geographic report said that land the size of Panama is stripped of its trees each year.

According to NASA, about half of all species on Earth live in only about 7 percent of the Earth's tropical forests.

Experts believe that in less than 40 years, our planet has lost 8 percent of its rainforests.

Brazil led the pack of countries between the years of 1990 and 2005 by clearing over 42 million hectares of tropical forest regions. 

Let us all take an extra step this Earth Day by learning a little bit more about what we can do to help stop deforestation.

How can I help?

The simplest step to take for most would be to recycle the paper we use on a daily basis. 

According to A Recycling Revolution, if every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.

The same source also said that about 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.

One step further would be to do more research into companies to determine which ones plant trees in place of those that were cut down to help print that receipt you threw away.

Though deforestation remains a problem, acts taken by projects like Tropi-Dry deserve a big thumbs-up for helping this Earth Day look a little greener.


Image Caption: A Brazilian tropical dry forest during the rainy season, which can last 4-6 months. Credit: Diego Brandao


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