Saving Rainforests Termed
A Lost Cause
LONDON (Reuters) - Efforts to save most of the world's rainforests are doomed to failure and should be abandoned, a group of European scientists said in a report.
They said intensive farming and logging have left many rainforests beyond repair and suggested that conservationists concentrate on preserving the few areas that are not yet under pressure.
Reporting in the New Scientist magazine on Wednesday, scientists at the European Commission's Joint Research Center in Italy gave a bleak outlook.
"The pressures to remove the forests are too great to be stopped, especially in places like Southeast Asia," said Frederic Achard of the Research Center.
The research team of 12 experts in tropical forests said there was no hope of stopping deforestation by logging companies and farmers in major rainforest regions such as Indonesia and much of the Brazilian Amazon.
"There is very little we can do to change the politics of these ountries," Achard said.
Parts of the rainforests of the central Amazon Basin, Congo and New Guinea might be saved however and priority should be given to identifying and protecting areas of high biodiversity in these zones, the research center said.
The Indonesian island of Sumatra was pinpointed as the hottest of the deforestation hot spots. An island twice the size of Britain, it has lost virtually all its lowland forests in just 25 years, along with the animals that lived in them.