Tagged: deforestation

Can Brazil Eliminate Amazon Rainforest Deforestation By 2020?

Amazon deforestation brazil_Pedro_Biondi

“The zero net deforestation goal for 2020 goal is not an idea from outside, it’s a demand from society. Most are in favor of reducing deforestation. There are some groups that want to continue deforesting but they are in the minority.” -Governor Jatene

Governor Simao Jatene of Pará, Brazil told mongabay.com there’s no question Brazil needs to stop deforestation which is good news. Brazil is home to much of the Amazon rainforest, often called “The Lungs Of The World”. The giant forest is so vital to the world it has the attention of many all over the world. Deforestation would spell disaster for all of us and biodiversity on this planet. Pará, Brazil is a state that “is three times the size of California and has lost more Amazon forest — 90,000 sq km of Amazon forest since 1996 — over the past decade-and-a-half than any other in Brazil.” We have already seen how deforestation exacerbates already bad situation in Haiti and famine in Somalia. Continue reading

The Green Belt Movement: Planetary Self-Defense

Green Belt Movement

The Green Belt Movement (GBM) of Kenya was put to motion in 1977 by the late Nobel Peace Prize winning Professor Wangari Maathai and the National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK). Their mission of reforestation provides defense against environmental degradation as well as empowerment for rural women. As Professor Maathai states, “the planting of trees is the planting of ideas. By starting with the simple act of planting a tree, we give hope to ourselves and to future generations.”

The links between poverty and environmental decline have been well documented Continue reading

Deforestation Exacerbates Somali Famine

A Somali child undergoing treatment at a refugee facility in Kenya.

The famine in the Horn of Africa has reached epic proportions but the Center for International Forestry and Research (CIFOR) report that this could have been easily avoided. Thanks to deforestation practices occurring within the region the famine has struck low income and agriculturally dependent populations the hardest. Continue reading

Kenyan Environmentalist, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai Dies At 71

Wangari Maathai

You raise your consciousness to the point where you must do the right thing. -Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai died on Sunday after a long struggle with cancer at the age of 71. The Right Livelihood Award winner also became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1977, she organized rural women plant trees to address problems stemming from a degraded environment and spearheaded the struggle against state-backed deforestation in Kenya. It seems like they’re only trees but she didn’t just plant trees, she planted ideas. Continue reading


Photo Credit: Getty Images PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI-Feb. 28: Residents of the Tapis Vert internally displaced persons camp navigate the mud and sewage after overnight rains soaked the tent village February 28, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Tapis Vert, which means large green lawn in French, is normally used as a football pitch but is now home to some of Haiti’s 1.2 million people left homeless by last month’s 7.0 earthquake.

As soon as the passion of this moment fades, the US government will continue contributing to repressive trade policies that keep places like Haiti impoverished. Am I the only one disillusioned…concerned that almost nobody — especially those in our media or government — is talking about this?” ~Rick Steves

In an earlier post The Top 5 White People Worth Interrupting Black History Month For I gave Rick Steves honorable mention, but I wanted to talk about this some more.

I recently read his article about post and pre earthquake Haiti No Aid to Haiti. After reading some poorly researched and rather inhumane commentary I appreciated his take on the the shower of aid for Haiti.

I admit I greatly underestimated Rick Steves whom I know from his Public TV show Rick Steves’ Europe Through The Back Door. While I liked the show I used to wish he would go to other parts of the world, maybe even the Caribbean. If he did I never saw that show and who knows where else Rick Steves have been.

As a person of Haitian descent I was touched by his take on Americans giving aid to Haiti and impressed his knowledge of the binds so called developing countries are in. Continue reading