For over 20 years the shrinkage of the world’s tropical forests has been at the forefront of environmental concerns. Yet the forests continue to be cleared. The key word is ‘cleared’ for – as Fate of the Forests finds – while commercial logging contributes to deforestation in the tropics, terms like ‘destruction’ and ‘devastation’ are too simple. Forests have always been used by local people. Stories from Peru and Indonesia show how forest ‘farmers’ ingeniously imitate the natural productivity of the rainforest. In Uganda, agro-forestry techniques are helping to keep a watershed reserve intact. Nor is there any lack of awareness in the developing world of the significance of preserving forests. Guyana’s president argues that timber concessions have been made to Asian timber companies to pay off Guyana’s huge national debt.
Films in this series