Rainforest Destruction and Sociological Effects

Rainforest Destruction and Sociological Effects

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The natural resource of wood is being used at an unsustainable rate, with minimal effort to change societal views on the depletion of this valuable natural resource. Much of the wood we use today comes from old-growth tropical forests, and in many regions it is harvested illegally. Recently in England, it was revealed that the major department store, Marks&Spencers, made much of its garden furniture out of Nyato wood which was logged illegally from Indonesian rainforests. Looking at this problem from a micro-level orientation, we can clearly see how the actions of individuals in both Britain and Indonesia affect one another.

In Indonesia, the illegal logging trade is as profitable as ever, and as is often the case in many countries that have a globally desirable, yet illegal resource, it is run by an organized crime ring. There exist in certain areas of rainforest in Indonesia timber barons who employ what are commonly referred to as logging gangsters. The victims in this social problem are not only the rare species that inhabit the rainforests, such as the Sumatran Tiger and Orangutan, but also those people whose wish to do something to stop this depletion. Environmental activists and Journalists attempting to document or protest the atrocities are often killed or severely beaten by the criminals. Like all illegal trafficking, the illegal rainforest wood trade exists only because there is an outside force demanding it. In this case, the force is that of high-income countries. Had the British people been aware of the fact that by buying Marks&Spencers garden furniture, they were in fact supporting rainforest destruction and violent organized crime, they probably wouldn't buy it. However, ignorance is not an excuse. In a world where wood is becoming less abundant, we need to be aware of the environmental and societal issues surrounding our product choices.

Taking wood from rainforests and old-growth forests is detrimental to the environment and society. However, it is possible for us to have sustainable wood if we make an effort.

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Related Searches

Marks&Spencers is only one of dozens of high street stores that get their wood from unfavorable sources. There are, however, various organizations which label ethical wood with a seal of approval. We are also free to enquire as to the source of the products we are interested in, and perhaps this right just needs to be exercised more, because when people start demanding ethical wood, the companies will start supplying it more.

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