Three Threats To The Sustainability Of Forests

1198 words - 5 pages

When speaking about the sustainability of forests, sustainability itself must first be defined. The concept of sustainability is not easily defined in a single sentence or even in several sentences. As quoted by Steve Nix (n.d.), the British Columbia Forest Service defines sustainability as the integration of 3 elements, the environment, the economy and the social system, into a single system that can be maintained in a healthy state indefinitely. To achieve and maintain this delicate balance, many different factors within those 3 elements are required to work together in unison. With so many factors working toward creating a balance there would ultimately be factors working against and threatening the balance of sustainability. The temperate forest biome is home to most of the world’s industrialized nations including the United States, Canada, China and Russia. In this biome, there are three main threats to the sustainability of forests: overuse, pollution and the sustained use of traditional methods. As with many elements in nature, these three threats are both significant individually and also interconnected.
In the modern industrial age, everything is about making a profit. Manufacturers of consumer products strive to maximize their production of products at the same time reduce the cost of production. Because most of the world’s industrialized nations are populated in the temperate mixed forest biome, the actions of these manufacturers directly impact and threat the sustainability of forests on a much larger scale than most other parts of the world. Manufacturers find the cheapest and easiest way to obtain energy and raw materials for production. Because alternative sustainable sources of energy are more expensive, manufacturers prefer cheaper and more convenient sources of electricity in the form of dams and fossil fuels. These cheaper sources of electricity can harm the environment. Building a large would cause flooding to a large forest area in order to create a reservoir. While in the case of burning fossil fuels, it would release harmful chemical fumes into the air causing acid rain. Companies may also choose to harvest large amounts of timber for production through the method of clear cutting. Although cost effective, clear cutting is not ideal for the forest ecosystem. Not only are habitats of animals disrupted but trees may not grow back to their original amount in the area, permanently damaging the ecosystem of the forest. In addition, heavy machinery used to transport logs may destroy trees during its journey. The pursuit for low production costs and high yield ultimately leads to the overuse and exploitation of natural resources.
Another threat to the sustainability of forests is pollution. In the industrialized nations populated in the mixed temperate forest, there are large amounts of human activity. Developed nations within the mixed temperate forest biome use fossil fuels to create energy for homes and businesses, gasoline...

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