I know it since I read Collapse, Jared Diamond’s fantastic book about how various societies disappeared : trees matter ! Between soil erosion prevention and climate change mitigation, there are many reasons for keeping forests alive.
Now comes a British study noting that the annual cost of deforestation is five trillion dollar. This research is carried out under the UNEP program known as The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)
We have seen it here on multiple occasions, protecting Nature and its fantastic biodiversity is as a matter of fact the best way to protect ourselves.
As the Independent notes :
The Government, working with Brazil, will use the 193-nation summit in Nagoya on 18 October to push for an agreement on sharing the benefits of biodiversity. They hope to thrash out an early draft of a deal which would ensure that regions rich in natural resources, including South America, Asia and Africa, receive the benefits enjoyed by developed countries.
In many parts of the world, the survival of the natural environment is a matter of life and death for the people who live there. Forests contribute directly to the livelihoods of 90 per cent of the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty. Half of the population of the developing world depends indirectly on forests.
But for many, the environmental and economic damage is already done. The collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery in the 1990s is said to have cost $2bn and tens of thousands of jobs, while mangrove degradation in Pakistan caused tens of millions of dollars of damage to the fishing, farming and timber industries.
More than a quarter of the world’s original natural biodiversity had gone by 2000, and a further 11 per cent of land biodiversity is expected to be lost by 2050. According to some estimates, the rate of extinction is up to 1,000 times that expected without human activity and, now, climate change.