THE REAL WOOD GUIDE FLORA AND FAUNA AND FORESTS
WILDLIFE AND PLANTS
The supporters of the Forests Forever programme individually and collectively believe that conservation areas of temperate and tropical forests, if they do not already exist, should be created as part of multipurpose forest planning which recognises all the variety of legitimate calls on forestlands including timber extraction. The realities of human needs and, for example, the economic and social problems of some developing countries, make it impossible to advance the concept of complete protection of all forests.
Forests Forever gives its encouragement to governments and qualified organisations to identify and protect areas of special value.
From a purist's point of view, any intrusion into virgin forest, whether it be by commerce, tourism, science, natural disaster, non native flora or fauna, is unwanted. In practice there will always be change.
Without taking the argument too far, Forests Forever when looking specifically at the tropical forest issue is seeing environmental and conservation groups indicating that selective logging is less disturbing to the balance of plant, animal and insect life than has been assumed -providing that the remaining forest is left totally undisturbed to enable it to recover. Selective logging in tropical rain forest by its nature takes only trees of a commercial size (not normally below about 60cm in diameter) and only those species of commercial value, which amounts, in any one region, to maybe thirty or forty out of hundreds of tree species. Logging can only take place in one specific place at a time, which must disturb and damage habitats and drive wildlife away temporarily. We are not trying to dismiss the need for protection; indeed we advocate greater attention to improving harvesting and extraction techniques to minimise damage. However we do wish to indicate that scientists concerned with the industry are modifying their assumptions about the permanent effect on wildlife of selective logging within long term effective forest management.
The ecological, economic and social needs have to be balanced.
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