Deforestation in Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the world's most forest endowed countries that has not yet been drastically deforested. However, massive deforestation for economic development threatens its ecosystems; the country has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, third only to Nigeria and Vietnam, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The Cambodian government has played a large role in shaping the use of the country's forests. An unusually large area of Cambodia has been designated as protected areas, about 20% of the total land mass, but many protections have subsequently been overruled by concessions sold to both national and foreign companies for agricultural and industrial developments in national parks; the government has been broadly criticized domestically and internationally for these contradicting policies, a general lack of enforcement of environmental laws. They have faced pressures to practice a more sustainable forestry overall; the fate of Cambodia's forests will affect local communities that rely on the forests for their livelihood.
Deforestation has directly resulted from poorly managed commercial logging, fuel wood collection, agricultural invasion, infrastructure and urban development. Indirect pressures include rapid population growth, inequalities in land tenure, lack of agriculture technology, limited employment opportunities. Cambodia's primary forest cover fell from over 70% in 1970 at the end of the Vietnam War to just 3.1% in 2007. Deforestation is proceeding at an alarming rate, with a total forest loss at nearly 75% since the end of the 1990s. In total, Cambodia lost 25,000 square kilometres of forest between 1990 and 2005, 3,340 square kilometres of, primary forest; as of 2007, less than 3,220 square kilometres of primary forest remain, with the result that the future sustainability of Cambodia's forest reserves is under severe threat. Open Development Cambodia, an NGO in Phnom Penh, used US satellite data to show a significant loss of forest cover from 72.1% in 1973 to 46.3% in 2014. Most of the loss occurred after 2000.
In an effort to conserve forest cover, a harvest limit of 10m3 per hectare has been established. This number was chosen in consideration of a forest growth of 0.3m3/ha/yr and a 35-year cutting cycle. The RGC has set a Cambodia Millennium Development Goal to maintain national cover of 60% of total land area by 2015; this would require 532,615 hectares of non-forest land to be converted to tree plantation. Forest distribution varies nationwide. Although all 21 provinces had forests before the war, their preservation was uneven until 1993. Regions with the highest forest coverage are in hilly districts such as Preach Vihear with 93%, Koh Kong with 92%, Ratanakiri with 91%. Areas with the lowest forest coverage are in the Mekong delta region such as Prey Veng with 2%, Svay Ring with 2%, the capital Phnom Penh with 5%. If the Cambodian government does not move toward a more sustainable forest management, the value of Cambodia's forests is to decline; the Royal Government of Cambodia sees great potential in Cambodia's forests to further the country's development.
The government can use timber exports to acquire foreign currencies and create necessary revenue to support reconstruction and development. The World Bank considered the forest to be “one of the few important resources for development in Cambodia.” Starting in 1992, the RGC used revenue generated from the sale of forest products to finance various development projects. Forest revenues as a percent of total government revenues decreased from 14 percent in 1994 to 5 percent in 1996; this revenue decrease and visible mismanagement of the forest sector spurred the IMF, World Bank and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Development Program in 1994 and 1995 to review Cambodia's forest policies. Some forest policies have been reformed however the causes of deforestation cannot be fixed through policy. Despite potential gains from utilizing forest resources, the government has faced pressures from domestic and international groups that are concerned about deforestation. Domestically, local communities rely on forests for timber and non-timber resources, as well as the positive contributions of the forest to rice farming and fisheries.
Internationally, there are many nongovernment organizations and environmental organizations that have expressed concern over deforestation in Cambodia. In the 1990s, the Cambodian government passed and lifted many government bans on timber exports as a result from these pressures. There are some barriers to forest development and sustainable forest management. In 1999, 35% to 40% of the forests were considered dangerous due to land mines, ongoing conflicts, rogue armed forces. Cambodia has the highest number of land mines per capital. Land mines have prevented the utilization of forests. Another barrier is an absence of reliable data on existing forests relating to their extent and problems of access. Cambodia has little data on their environment due to their prolonged civil war. UN organizations and international NGOs support most of the environmental activities such as collecting data. In addition, estimates of forestry output are unknown but are assumed to be over the legal mount due to illegal cutting.
Global Witness, a British NGO, criticizes RGC's management of forests. In a briefing document published in 1996, Global Witness describes how the RGC secretly creates forest policies that benefit them, their allies in the Thai government, foreign businesses. Global Witness asserts that RGC's management of Cambodia's forest goes against the Cambodian Constitution. One example the Global Witness draws on to illustrate the collusion occurring within the RGC is the 1995
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities; the history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, technological developments have increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage.
Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, antibiotic resistance, growth hormones in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are used, although some are banned in certain countries; the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers and raw materials. Food classes include cereals, fruits, meat, milk and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased over the centuries; the word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "field", which in its turn came from Greek αγρός, cultūra, "cultivation" or "growing". While agriculture refers to human activities, certain species of ant and ambrosia beetle cultivate crops. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to "produce commodities which maintain life, including food, forest products, horticultural crops, their related services".
Thus defined, it includes arable farming, animal husbandry and forestry, but horticulture and forestry are in practice excluded. The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centres of origin. Wild grains were eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, followed by mung and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 11,000 years ago. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago. Pig production emerged in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago.
In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, llamas and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was bred into maize by 6,000 years ago. Scholars have offered multiple hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism. Wild stands, harvested started to be planted, came to be domesticated. In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8,000 BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC. Farmers grew wheat, vegetables such as lentils and onions, fruits including dates and figs.
Ancient Egyptian agriculture relied on its seasonal flooding. Farming started in the predynastic period at the end of the Paleolithic, after 10,000 BC. Staple food crops were grains such as wheat and barley, alongside industrial crops such as flax and papyrus. In India, wheat and jujube were domesticated by 9,000 BC, soon followed by sheep and goats. Cattle and goats were domesticated in Mehrgarh culture by 8,000–6,000 BC. Cotton was cultivated by the 5th-4th millennium BC. Archeological evidence indicates an animal-drawn plough from 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In China, from the 5th century BC there was a nationwide granary system and widespread silk farming. Water-powered grain mills were in use followed by irrigation. By the late 2nd century, heavy ploughs had been developed with iron mouldboards; these spread westwards across Eurasia. Asian rice was domesticated 8,200–13,500 years ago – depending on the molecular clock estimate, used – on the Pearl River in southern China with a single genetic origin from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon
Soil health is a state of a soil meeting its range of ecosystem functions as appropriate to its environment. Soil health testing is an assessment of this status. Soil health depends on soil biodiversity, it can be improved via soil conditioning; the term soil health is used to describe the state of a soil in: Sustaining plant and animal productivity and biodiversity. Soil Health has if not replaced the expression "Soil Quality", extant in the 1990s; the primary difference between the two expressions is that soil quality was focused on individual traits within a functional group, as in "quality of soil for maize production" or "quality of soil for roadbed preparation" and so on. The addition of the word "health" shifted the perception to be integrative and systematic; the two expressions still overlap considerably. The underlying principle in the use of the term “soil health” is that soil is not just an inert, lifeless growing medium, which modern farming tends to represent, rather it is a living and ever-so-subtly changing whole environment.
It turns out that soils fertile from the point of view of crop productivity are lively from a biological point of view. It is now recognized that soil microbial biomass is large: in temperate grassland soil the bacterial and fungal biomass have been documented to be 1–2 t /hectare and 2–5 t /ha, respectively; some microbiologists now believe that 80% of soil nutrient functions are controlled by microbes. If this is true, than the prevailing Liebig nutrient theory model, Mitscherlich modifications of it, all which exclude biology, are dangerously incorrect for managing soil fertility sustainably for the future. Using the human health analogy, a healthy soil can be categorized as one: In a state of composite well-being in terms of biological and physical properties. Soil health is the condition of the soil in a defined space and at a defined scale relative to a set of benchmarks that encompass healthy functioning, it would not be appropriate to refer to soil health for soil-roadbed preparation, as in the analogy of soil quality in a functional class.
The definition of soil health may vary between users of the term as alternative users may place differing priorities upon the multiple functions of a soil. Therefore, the term soil health can only be understood within the context of the user of the term, their aspirations of a soil, as well as by the boundary definition of the soil at issue. Different soils will have different benchmarks of health depending on the “inherited” qualities, on the geographic circumstance of the soil; the generic aspects defining a healthy soil can be considered as follows: “Productive” options are broad. This translates to: A comprehensive cover of vegetation. On the basis of the above, soil health will be measured in terms of individual ecosystem services provided relative to the benchmark. Specific benchmarks used to evaluate soil health include CO2 release, humus levels, microbial activity, available calcium. Soil health testing is spreading in the United States and South Africa. Cornell University, a land-grant college in NY State, has had a Soil Health Test since 2006.
Woods End Laboratories, a private soil lab founded in Maine in 1975, has offered a soil quality package since 1985 that contains physical chemical and biology which today are prerequisites for soil health testing. In the United States, six commercial soil labs are registered for "Soil Health" testing under the NRCS website; the approach of all the labs is to add into common chemical nutrient testing a biological set of factors not included in routine soil testing. The best example is adding biological soil respiration as a test procedure. There is resistance among soil testing labs and university scientists to adding new biological tests since interpretation of soil fertility is based on models from "crop response" studies which match yield to test levels of specific chemical nutrients; these soil test methods have evolved over the past 40 years and are backed by considerable effort. However, in this same time USA soils have lost up to 75% of their carbon, causing biological fertility to drop drastically.
Many critics of the current system say this is sufficient evidence that the old soil testing models have failed us, need to be replaced with new approaches. These older models have stressed "maximum yield" and " yield calib
In biology, the canopy is the aboveground portion of a plant community or crop, formed by the collection of individual plant crowns. In forest ecology, canopy refers to the upper layer or habitat zone, formed by mature tree crowns and including other biological organisms. Sometimes the term canopy is used to refer to the extent of the outer layer of leaves of an individual tree or group of trees. Shade trees have a dense canopy that blocks light from lower growing plants. Canopy structure is the spatial arrangement of a plant canopy. Leaf Area Index, leaf area per unit ground area, is a key measure used to understand and compare plant canopies, it is taller than the understory layer. Dominant and co-dominant canopy trees form the uneven canopy layer. Canopy trees are able to photosynthesize rapidly due to abundant light, so it supports the majority of primary productivity in forests; the canopy layer provides protection from strong winds and storms, while intercepting sunlight and precipitation, leading to a sparsely vegetated understory layer.
Forest canopies are home to unique fauna not found in other layers of forests. The highest terrestrial biodiversity resides in the canopy of tropical rainforests. Many rainforest animals have evolved to live in the canopy, never touch the ground; the canopy of a rainforest is about 10m thick, intercepts around 95% of sunlight. The canopy is below the emergent layer, a sparse layer of tall trees one or two per hectare. With an abundance of water and a near ideal temperature in rainforests and nutrients are two factors that limit tree growth from the understory to the canopy. In the permaculture and forest gardening community, the canopy is the highest of seven layers. Canopy Canopy research Canopy walkway Hemispherical photography Stratification Treefall gap Wildfire Crown shyness Tropical forest Rainforest size-asymmetric competition Lowman, M. D. and H. B. Rinker. 2004. Forest Canopies. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-457553-6, ISBN 978-0-12-457553-0 Moffett, M. W. 1994. The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rainforest Canopy.
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Russell, G. B. Marshall, P. G. Jarvis. 1990. Plant Canopies: Their Growth and Function. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-39563-1, ISBN 978-0-521-39563-2 International Canopy Access Network
Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a significant transnational issue. In the DRC, forests are cleared for agricultural purposes by utilizing burn techniques. Aside from the visible depletion of resources, deforestation of the DRC leads to a lost habit for the mountain gorilla among other rare species like the okapi, resulting in decreased biodiversity, soil erosion, contribute to climate change. Since 1990, the rate of deforestation in the DRC has remained constant at 0.20%, which equates to the loss of 311,000 hectares, or 1,200 square miles, annually. This amounts to destroying forests the size of Delaware every two years; the fact that the rate of deforestation has remained constant over the last twenty years is misleading as one might believe that government or non-government organizations interventions have been responsible for the decline, but reports indicate otherwise. Three reasons have been postulated as to why deforestation rates have remained low: 1) the road network within the country has been in decline making access to more remote areas more difficult, 2) political and regulatory changes have disincentivized investment in the country, 3) agriculture has expanded outside of forest areas.
Additionally, while the rates remain constant, wood removal continues to increase annually. Industrialized roundwood has increased from 3.05 million cubic meters in 1990 to 4.45 million cubic meters in 2010. The rainforest in the Congo Basin is the largest rainforest in Africa and second only to the Amazon Basin in size, with 300 million hectare compared to the 800 million hectares in the Amazon. Fifty percent of the remaining rainforest in the Congo Basin lies within the boundaries of the DRC; the DRC is one of the most Flora rich countries on the continent. It is home for more than 10,000 types of plants, 600 timber species, as well as 1,000 bird species, 280 reptile species, 400 mammal species, including the forest elephant, forest buffalo and okapi. Many of these wildlife species are threatened animals such as large lowland gorillas and chimpanzees; the deforeastation destroys the biological diversity in the Congo Basin forest. 60 percent of the forest elephant population drops due to the loss of shelter caused by illegal logging.
The direct causes of deforestation within the DRC are well understood and have been identified by many sources. The direct causes are as follows: 1) road infrastructure development, 2) slashing and burning the forests to transform forest land into agricultural land, 3) the collection of fuelwood and charcoal, lastly 4) unregulated artisanal and small-scale logging; the United Nations Environment Programme has identified the priority in which the causes should be addressed as slash and burn agriculture first, the collection of fuelwood second, unregulated artisanal and logging third, road infrastructure development fourth. Both mining and logging create similar secondary deforestation through road construction. Logging companies construct new roads into inaccessible forest areas which facilitates the conversion of logged forests by into agricultural land; this has led to the immigration of landless farmers, in particular from eastern savanna regions, to enter primary forest areas through logging roads.
Incoming farmers cause extensive land degradation in converting the natural forest into farmlands. Further, it has been suggested that increases in returns can lead to substantial increase in farm sizes and shortening of the fallow period, which in turn leads to large-scale and severe natural forest area destruction; the United Nations Environment Programme has identified slash and burn agriculture which produces reduced fall periods, as the most pressing issue related to the deforestation of the DRC. This is the process of clearing land for agricultural use through burning the forest; this problem has deep roots as much of the DRC's population is dependent on this sort of slash and burn rain-fed agriculture for its sustenance. Practicing this style of intensive agriculture with short periods of soil rest leads to soil degradation and desertification; this has resulted in increasing levels of food insecurity, as much as 70 percent of the population of the DRC is estimated to be malnourished according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Food Programme.
As the soil degrades and desertification occurs, farmers are forced to continually move farther out to find new land to farm which repeats the process all over again. Furthermore, current farming practices are unsustainable; when farmers move farther out to workable land, they are at the same time increasing the distance between themselves and markets where they can sell their produce. With no facilities for refrigeration, post-harvest crop losses can reach up to 80 percent; the DRC is reliant on imported food, which further places pressure on the forest lands to be cleared for agricultural purposes. In 2010, the DRC's top import from the United States was meat. Fuelwood and charcoal collection has been classified as a key driver for deforestation as it is used to account for 95% the population's energy needs; the population's dependence on fuelwood for energy creates rings of fragmented forest around urban areas, which in turn calls for longer and longer forest excursions to supply a never ending demand for fuelwood.
The United Nations Environment Programme's Post-conflict Environ
Forest cover by federal subject in Russia
The forest cover in Russia by federal subject as published by the Unified Interdepartmental Statistical Information System. The total forest area in 2017 was estimated to be around 46.4% of Russia's land area. Forest cover by state in the United States Forest cover by province or territory in Canada Forest cover by state or territory in Australia Forest cover by state in India Land use in China#Forest uses a. ^ Not recognized internationally as a part of Russia
Human overpopulation occurs when the ecological footprint of a human population in a specific geographical location exceeds the carrying capacity of the place occupied by that group. Overpopulation can further be viewed, in a long term perspective, as existing if a population cannot be maintained given the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources or given the degradation of the capacity of the environment to give support to the population. Changes in lifestyle could reverse overpopulated status without a large population reduction; the term human overpopulation refers to the relationship between the entire human population and its environment: the Earth, or to smaller geographical areas such as countries. Overpopulation can result from an increase in births, a decline in mortality rates, an increase in immigration, or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources, it is possible for sparsely populated areas to be overpopulated if the area has a meagre or non-existent capability to sustain life.
Advocates of population moderation cite issues like quality of life, carrying capacity, risk of starvation as a basis to argue for population decline. Scientists suggest that the human impact on the environment as a result of overpopulation, profligate consumption and proliferation of technology has pushed the planet into a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene. Human population has been rising continuously since the end of the Black Death, around the year 1350, although the most significant increase has been since the 1950s due to medical advancements and increases in agricultural productivity; the rate of population growth has been declining since the 1980s, while the absolute total numbers are increasing. Recent rate increases in several countries enjoying steady declines are apparently contributing to continued growth in total numbers; as pointed out by Hans Rosling, the critical factor is that the population is not "just growing", but that the growth ratio reached its peak and the total population is now growing much slower.
The UN population forecast of 2017 was predicting "near end of high fertility" globally and anticipating that by 2030 over ⅔ of world population will be living in countries with fertility below the replacement level. And for total world population to stabilize between 10-12 billion people by year 2100; the United Nations has expressed concerns on continued population growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent research has demonstrated; as of April 14, 2019 the world's human population is estimated to be 7.699 billion. Or, 7,622,106,064 on May 14, 2018 and the United States Census Bureau calculates 7,472,985,269 for that same date, and over 7 billion by the United Nations. Most contemporary estimates for the carrying capacity of the Earth under existing conditions are between 4 billion and 16 billion. Depending on which estimate is used, human overpopulation may or may not have occurred; the rapid recent increase in human population is causing some concern. The population is expected to reach between 8 and 10.5 billion between the years 2040 and 2050.
In 2017, the United Nations increased the medium variant projections to 9.8 billion for 2050 and 11.2 billion for 2100. The recent rapid increase in human population over the past three centuries has raised concerns that the planet may not be able to sustain present or future numbers of inhabitants; the InterAcademy Panel Statement on Population Growth, circa 1994, stated that many environmental problems, such as rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, global warming, pollution, are aggravated by the population expansion. Other problems associated with overpopulation include the increased demand for resources such as fresh water and food and malnutrition, consumption of natural resources faster than the rate of regeneration, a deterioration in living conditions. Wealthy but populated territories like Britain rely on food imports from overseas; this was felt during the World Wars when, despite food efficiency initiatives like "dig for victory" and food rationing, Britain needed to fight to secure import routes.
However, many believe that waste and over-consumption by wealthy nations, is putting more strain on the environment than overpopulation. In spite of concerns about overpopulation, widespread in developed countries, the number of people living in extreme poverty globally shows a stable decline though the population has grown seven-fold over the last 200 years. Child mortality has declined, which in turn has led to reduced birth rates, thus slowing overall population growth; the global number of famine-related deaths have declined, food supply per person has increased with population growth. Most countries have no direct policy of limiting their birth rates, but the rates have still fallen due to education about family planning and increasing access to birth control and contraception. Concern about overpopulation is an ancient topic. Tertullian was a resident of the city of Carthage in the second century CE, when the population of the world was about 190 million, he notably said: "What most meets our view is our teeming population.
Our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly support us.... In deed and famine, wars, earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race." Before that, Plato and others broached the topic as well. Throughout recorded history, population growth has been slow despite high birth rates, due to war and other diseases, high infant mortalit