As Rainforest Roads Increase, Carbon Storage Systems Decrease

 

We live in an era of unprecedented road and highway expansion into many of the world’s last tropical wildernesses, from the Amazon to Borneo to the Congo Basin, reports William Laurance at Environment 360.  Brazil is currently building 7,500 kilometers of new paved highways that crisscross the Amazon basin, And in the Congo basin, a recent satellite study found more than 50,000 kilometers of new logging roads, for example.  This surge in road building is being driven not only by national plans for infrastructure expansion, but by industrial timber, oil, gas, and mineral projects in the tropics. But “Roads,” said the eminent ecologist Thomas Lovejoy, “are the seeds of tropical forest destruction.” In forested areas of western North America, one of the best predictors of wildfire frequency is the density of roads. What to do?  A vital step is to legally establish parks or reserves along road routes in advance of construction. Relocate road routes so they do not slice deeply into forests. Carefully manage and limit road expansion by educating policymakers worldwide on the true environmental costs of roads on their forest resources.

 

Source

 

As Roads Spread in Rainforests, The Environmental Toll Grows  From Brazil to Borneo, new roads are being built into tropical forests at a dizzying pace, putting previously intact wilderness at risk. If we hope to preserve rainforests, a leading researcher says, new strategies must be adopted to limit the number of roads and reduce their impacts.http://e360.yale.edu/feature/as_roads_spread_in_tropical_rain_forests_environmental_toll_grows/2485/

 

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We live in an era of unprecedented road and highway expansion into many of the world’s last tropical wildernesses, from the Amazon to Borneo to the Congo Basin, reports William Laurance at Environment 360.  Brazil is currently building 7,500 kilometers of new paved highways that crisscross the Amazon basin, And in the Congo basin, a recent satellite study found more than 50,000 kilometers of new logging roads, for example.  This surge in road building is being driven not only by national plans for infrastructure expansion, but by industrial timber, oil, gas, and mineral projects in the tropics. But “Roads,” said the eminent ecologist Thomas Lovejoy, “are the seeds of tropical forest destruction.” In forested areas of western North America, one of the best predictors of wildfire frequency is the density of roads. What to do?  A vital step is to legally establish parks or reserves along road routes in advance of construction. Relocate road routes so they do not slice deeply into forests. Carefully manage and limit road expansion by educating policymakers worldwide on the true environmental costs of roads on their forest resources.

Source

As Roads Spread in Rainforests, The Environmental Toll Grows  From Brazil to Borneo, new roads are being built into tropical forests at a dizzying pace, putting previously intact wilderness at risk. If we hope to preserve rainforests, a leading researcher says, new strategies must be adopted to limit the number of roads and reduce their impacts. http://e360.yale.edu/feature/as_roads_spread_in_tropical_rain_forests_environmental_toll_grows/2485/

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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