An alarming new study has shown that the world's forests are not only disappearing rapidly, but that areas of 'core forest' -- remote forest-interior areas critical for disturbance-sensitive wildlife and ecological functioning -- are vanishing even faster.
Core forests are disappearing because of the tsunami of new roads, dams, power lines, pipelines and other infrastructure rapidly slicing into the world's last wild places, opening them up like a flayed fish to deforestation, fragmentation, poaching, and other destructive activities.
Most vulnerable of all are forests in the tropics -- which sustain the planet's most biologically rich and environmentally important habitats.
The collapse of the world's forests isn't going to stop until we start to say "no" to environmentally destructive projects.
Damn the dams
Those who criticize new infrastructure projects are often accused of opposing direly needed economic development, or -- if they hail from industrial nations -- of being hypocrites.
But when one begins to look in detail at the proposed projects, an intriguing pattern appears: Many are either poorly justified or will have far greater costs than benefits.