Rain forests form the very foundation of human
existence. Yet an area of the rainforest half the size of the State of
California is destroyed every single year.|
Amazon Network works to
conserve those luxuriant ecosystems through education and activism. The
primary cause of rainforest destruction being commercial logging we have
formulated a strategy of discouraging international trade in tropical
timber. Our primary focus is on the Amazon River basin.
Rainforests rank the highest in biodiversity among the
ecosystems of the planet. They cover less than five percent of the surface
of the earth; yet they are home to one half of the plant and animal
species. They provide one third of our oxygen. The majority of the staple
crops that we consume today originated in the rain forest; so did the
medicinal herbs that are the basis of traditional medicine.
Despite their vital role in his life man is destroying the tropical
jungles at the rate of a hundred acres a minute. In the last twenty years
alone, more than 12% of the Amazon was decimated. Commercial logging is
the root of the problem since the logging roads also provide access for
cattle ranchers and slash-and-burn farmers. We
urge the heads of all trading companies who are involved in trade in
tropical timber to realize that the potential benefits of the rain forests
to humanity are far more than the value of the timber that they contain.
They are the heritage of the human race and their beauty and biodiversity
ought not be exploited for short term gain.
We hereby call on the trading companies to exclude primary
forests from their operations and limit their trade to timber and timber
products obtained from sustainably managed second-growth forests.
Consumers are becoming increasingly eco-savvy. We demand that forest
products be clearly marked with their place of origin so that we can
exercise our right of choice.