Forests: For Life!
Cattle ranch in Alto Quindío, Colombian Central Andes
Cattle ranching and agriculture are a high cause for deforestation and biodiversity loss. A bird’s eye view of Alto Quindío reveals a patchwork landscape and the impact of forest conversion. During the last two decades of the twentieth century, more than 300 million hectares of tropical forests – an area twice the land of India - have been cleared for plantations (including palm oil and soy), agriculture, pasture, mining, or urban development. If unchecked, a further 250-300 million hectares of tropical forest are likely to be lost in this way over the next 25 years.
What the photo does not show are the severe environmental and social costs arising from forest clearing, including uncontrolled burning with related haze, soil erosion or pollution of fresh water from pesticides, and sometimes disregard for the rights and interests of local communities.
To deal with the problems arising from forest conversion, WWF has developed the Forest Conversion Initiative.