Heroes

Jane Goodall, along with 30 other world leaders, tells us not to lose hope over deforestation.

"Deforestation is changing our climate, harming people and the natural world. We must, and can, reverse this trend."

Jane Goodall, along with 30 other world leaders, tells us not to lose hope over deforestation.
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Unilever and the United Nations

Would you destroy your own grocery store?

1.6 billion people worldwide depend on forests to live.

"Most of the indigenous peoples in Indonesia — their lives depend on the forest. The forest is their supermarket," said Abdon Nababan, Secretary General of Indigenous Peoples Groups Indonesia.


All GIFs via Avoided Deforestation Partners/YouTube.

And every piece of forest lost to burning and logging is like another aisle gone from the store for them.

That's one of the key messages 30 world leaders have come together to promote in a new video from Avoided Deforestation Partners. Former prime ministers and presidents, international CEOs ... they all want to see an end to deforestation.

Because at the rate we're going now, rain forests might be gone by the end of this century.

We've already lost half of our tropical forests. Cutting down trees to make room for cattle or other kinds of agriculture is the biggest problem, but logging clears massive areas of forest too.

If deforestation continues unabated, millions of people who have lived with the forests for generations will lose their livelihoods and their homes.

Not to mention all the animals and plant species that will be lost.

It may even have ripple effects far beyond the borders of the tropics as rainfall patterns change. People will have to deal with new droughts, storms, and food shortages.

"That means a lot more risk to human health," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, "devastating consequences for coastal communities and infrastructure, massive effects and impacts on the most vulnerable populations."

But this is actually a message of hope.

We have an amazing opportunity here.

"If we do protect the forests, it is the single quickest, biggest thing we can do to mitigate climate change," said Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

We don't need new technology or some sort of crazy geo-engineering to accomplish this. Countries around the world are already taking steps to protect their forests and the people who depend on them. We just need the collective will to extend these protections around the globe.

We have an amazing opportunity here.

"The destruction of our forests is terrifying," said Jane Goodall, "Deforestation is changing our climate, harming people and the natural world. We must, and can, reverse this trend. The time to stand together and ask more leaders to stop the madness is now."

There's time enough, but none to spare. Watch the full thing below.

Listen to Goodall narrate this fascinating and thought-provoking video:

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

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