Trouble in paradise: threats facing the world’s rainforests

This is the fifth and final blog in our Las Piedras guest blog series, written by Catherine Carney-Feldman and David Feldman, who were inspired by the rainforest when they had the chance to visit the Las Piedras region of the Peruvian Amazon.

Today, there is trouble in paradise.

The rainforests of South America are facing a myriad of problems including the illegal harvesting of mahogany, ceiba and ironwood trees, the cocaine industry, the raising of cattle and livestock feed, oil exploration and illegal and legal gold and silver mining. All these activities encourage the building of new roads and rapid deforestation. Gold and silver mining causes mercury to pollute the surrounding land and water, destroying wildlife and wrecking livelihoods.

A landscape impacted by informal gold mining © Pavel Martiarena
A landscape impacted by informal gold mining © Pavel Martiarena

Without the forest habitat and the shelter and food it provides, there is no wildlife, and the lives of local communities are put at risk. Large tracts of land need to be protected all over the world and one way of ensuring this is educating people everywhere about the importance of each distinct environment and the unique species that call each of these ecosystems home.

This remarkable realm is so incredibly fragile and its survival is at a crossroads. Every day, all around the world, from the Congo in Africa, Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia, and the rainforests in Brazil and Peru, this invaluable habitat is vanishing.

Father and son walking around the mining zone © Pavel Martiarena
Father and son walking around the mining zone © Pavel Martiarena

The human species is capable of great destruction but it is also capable of great understanding, wisdom and action. Maybe this generation will decide to become stewards of this planet. With education comes understanding, with understanding comes appreciation and love, and with that comes the wish to protect our planet and pass on all its gifts to the next generation.

The rainforest covers 1 700 million hectares, an area the size of South America, and 6% of the Earth's surface.
The rainforest covers 1 700 million hectares, an area the size of South America, and 6% of the Earth’s surface

We’d love to hear what you think about our guest blog series, and what we should cover next, so get in touch!


About the Author

Catherine Carney-Feldman

Catherine Carney-Feldman

Catherine Carney-Feldman is a member of the Ipswich Conservation Commission and owner of Shamrock Acres Environmental Landscaping (978 356-7093). She lectures and teaches all components of environmental gardening including the “Web Of Life”. She volunteers every Tuesday morning in the growing season in the gardens at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *