11 October 2009

World Rainforest Week 12 - 18 October

To celebrate World Rainforest Week I have posted just a few of  images that show the  amazing beauty of  the rainforests. But photographs do not convey the awesome nature of the rainforest - the size and complexity of the vegetation, and the overloading of one's senses from the  cacophony of insects, frogs and birds, the smell of decay, the lack of light  and the humidity that saps your body of energy.

The pressure on the forests continues - oil palm and rubber plantations,  clearance for cattle ranching, oil exploration, mining, quarrying, for timber etc etc. The list goes on and on.  Now the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) are highlighting yet another threat - this time to the temperate rainforests of British Columbia. The exploitation of the tar sand deposits in Alberta continues and a pipeline is proposed to take millions of barrels of oil  to Kitimat on the Pacific coast, from where it will be shipped around the world. I have visited this part of Canada and it is beautiful. I took the ferry along the Inside Pasage where we passed  forested islands separated by narrow channels. The region is rich in wildlife, both in the sea and on the land.

So whats the problem with the pipeline? The tankers travelling to and from Kitimat will have to pass along treacherous shipping routes where accidents are common. A navigation accident with an oil tanker could lead to millions of tonnes of oil pollution the pristine waters. Its not hard to imagine what would happen, one has just to think of Exxon Valdez. To find out more about this threat, read the excellent article on the RAN blog (http://understory.ran.org/2009/10/05/tar-sands-threaten-canadas-rainforests/)

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