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Forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. They produce vital oxygen and provide homes for people and wildlife. Many of the world’s most threatened and endangered animals live in forests, and 1.6 billion people rely on benefits forests offer, including food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter. But forests around the world are under threat from deforestation, jeopardizing these benefits. Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change because they act as a carbon sink—soaking up carbon dioxide that would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and contribute to ongoing changes in climate patterns. Deforestation is a particular concern in tropical rainforests because these forests are home to much of the world’s biodiversity. WWF has been working to protect forests for more than 50 years.

Deforestation Deforestation, clearance or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use.[1] Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use. Deforestation occurs for many reasons: trees are cut down to be used or sold as fuel (sometimes in the form of charcoal) or timber, while cleared land is used as pasture for livestock, plantations of commodities and settlements. The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity. It has adverse impacts on biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforestation has also been used in war to deprive the enemy of cover for its forces and also vital resources. Disregard of ascribed value, lax forest management and deficient environmental laws are some of the factors that allow deforestation to occur on a large scale. Causes Environmental problems Atmospheric Hydrological Soil Biodiversity

WHAT IS DEFORESTATION? Pristine Continent, Messy Problem john blackstone, journey to the bottom of the earth, garbage, antarctica, trash CBS This is the thirt part of a series on the effects of global warming in Antarctica. Antarctica is a land of towering mountains and vast emptiness - a pristine continent with a big garbage problem. CBS News correspondent John Blackstone asked Mark Furnish, who is in charge of picking up at McMurdo Station, America's main Antarctic science base: "You're the garbage man of Antarctica?" "Yeah, I'm the biggest trash man on the continent," Furnish said. His challenge: None of the trash produced in Antarctica can be left there because it would be there forever. "If you go down to Scott's Hut, down there on the point, you'll see ... still see seal carcasses that haven't decomposed yet," he said. One of the beauties of Antarctica, and one of its problems, is that nothing goes away. This is the hut explorer Robert Scott built in 1901. Inside the hut, it's an amazing scene of the past preserved. In Antarctica?

SO WHAT'S BEEN IN THE MEDIA? Should Everest be closed? | World news | The Observer It has been described as the highest junkyard in the world. Covered in discarded mountaineering detritus and suffering under thousands of tourists' boots every year, environmental groups are to launch a push for a radical solution - the temporary closure of the world's highest mountain. Warnings that an ecological disaster is imminent in the area around the mountain have largely been ignored amid years of turmoil in Nepal. But conservationists think that growing political stability in the Himalayan kingdom means that the time has come and that the damage caused every year by thousands of climbers and tourists can no longer be ignored. Maoist rebels declared a ceasefire with Nepal's government in April after a decade-long insurgency and are negotiating to join an interim government with the country's mainstream political parties. Campaigners warn that the price of tourism is discarded rubbish and medical waste and the colonisation of the area by restaurants and internet cafes.

Australia's east coast named as 'deforestation front' in WWF Living Planet report | Environment Australia’s east coast has been compared to the Amazon as a “deforestation front” in a new global report by the World Wide Fund for Nature that underscores the threat to populations of koalas and other native species. The Living Planet report, produced by WWF every second year for the past 20 years, says global populations of vertebrate species have declined 60% since 1970. But koala numbers have disappeared at a much faster rate – more than 20% a decade – to the extent they could disappear from the wild in New South Wales by 2050. The report assessed 11 deforestation hotspots, where broadscale clearing had occurred at problematic levels since 2010, and where deforestation was expected to continue in the next decade. “It is a wake-up call for our east coast to appear alongside notorious forest destruction hotspots such as the Amazon, Congo basin, Sumatra and Borneo,” said the chief executive of WWF Australia, Dermot O’Gorman.

Press Freedom Index 2013 Download the reportDownload the 2013 world press freedom mapRead in Arabic (بالعربية)Read in Turkish (Türkçe)Read in Italian (Italiano)Read in German (Deutsch)Read in Chinese (看中文) After the “Arab springs” and other protest movements that prompted many rises and falls in last year’s index, the 2013 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index marks a return to a more usual configuration. The ranking of most countries is no longer attributable to dramatic political developments. This year’s index is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term. The same three European countries that headed the index last year hold the top three positions again this year. For the third year running, Finland has distinguished itself as the country that most respects media freedom. From top to bottom The Nordic countries have again demonstrated their ability to maintain an optimal environment for news providers. Big rises...

Websites: Press Freedom Index 2002 Surprises among Western democracies: US below Costa Rica and Italy below Benin Reporters Without Borders is publishing for the first time a worldwide index of countries according to their respect for press freedom. It also shows that such freedom is under threat everywhere, with the 20 bottom-ranked countries drawn from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The situation in especially bad in Asia, which contains the five worst offenders - North Korea, China, Burma, Turkmenistan and Bhutan. The top end of the list shows that rich countries have no monopoly of press freedom. The index was drawn up by asking journalists, researchers and legal experts to answer 50 questions about the whole range of press freedom violations (such as murders or arrests of journalists, censorship, pressure, state monopolies in various fields, punishment of press law offences and regulation of the media). In the worst-ranked countries, press freedom is a dead letter and independent newspapers do not exist.

IMPACTS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ISSUE: Adam Kingsmith: The Slow and Painful Death of Freedom in Canada Less than a generation ago, Canada was a world leader when it came to the fundamental democratic freedoms of assembly, speech and information. In 1982, Canada adopted the Access to Information Act -- making it one of the first countries to pass legislation recognizing the right of citizens to access information held by government, and as recently as 2002, Canada ranked among the top 5 most open and transparent countries when it came to respect for freedom of the press. Fast-forward a decade, and we've become a true north suppressed and disparate -- where unregistered civic demonstrations are inhibited and repressed, rebellious Internet activities are scrutinised and supervised, government scientists are hushed and muzzled, and public information is stalled and mired by bureaucratic firewalls. Loading Slideshow So what the devil is going on? But don't worry -- it's for our protection. But the undemocratic stifling doesn't stop here either. But then again, this is Canada.

RECOMMENDATIONS(to improve the issue) Boat filled with protected species hits coral reef MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A Chinese vessel that ran into a protected coral reef in the southwestern Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 10,000 kilograms (22,000 pounds) of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater. The steel-hulled vessel hit an atoll on April 8 at the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site on Palawan island. Coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said Monday that 400 boxes, each containing 25 to 30 kilograms of frozen pangolins, were discovered during a second inspection of the boat Saturday. The World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines said the Chinese vessel F/N Min Long Yu could have been carrying up to 2,000 of the toothless, insect-eating animals rolled up in the boxes, with their scales already removed. The boat's 12 Chinese crewmen are being detained on charges of poaching and attempted bribery, said Adelina Villena, the marine park's lawyer.

Deforestation Facts, Deforestation Information, Effects of Deforestation Modern-Day Plague Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but swaths the size of Panama are lost each and every year. The world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. Forests are cut down for many reasons, but most of them are related to money or to people’s need to provide for their families.The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture. Logging operations, which provide the world’s wood and paper products, also cut countless trees each year. Not all deforestation is intentional. Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. Deforestation also drives climate change. Removing trees deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day and holds in heat at night.