One of the world’s largest rainforests is being destroyed at such an alarming rate that there will be little of it left by 2020.

That’s the shocking conclusion of research in Papua New Guinea (PNG) which is currently one of the most heavily forested countries in the world.

Over the past few years, PNG has allowed widespread logging of its forests and a new report by university researchers says satellite images show destruction on a massive scale.

PNG is home to the world’s third largest tropical rainforest but already, around 15 per cent of its 94 million acres has been cleared and its government is now trying to persuade rich countries to pay for forest conservation.

But the researchers say the government is allowing huge timber companies to destroy all accessible forest so all that will be left is forest which is physically inaccessible for logging – so it wouldn’t need protection in any event.

A spokesman for the PNG Remote Sensing Centre says: “Forests are being logged repeatedly and wastefully with little regard for the environmental consequences.”

The researchers predict that by 2020, around 80 percent of accessible forest and more than half of its total forest will have been destroyed or badly damaged.

They say action is needed now and are calling for any new forestry programmes to be limited to small locally-owned and managed operations which are more likely to be environmentally sustainable.

This could work in a similar way to this forestry management plan which has already saved thousands of hectares of rainforest in PNG – and given local people the chance to earn a better income.


The Global Monitoring Report for 2008 produced by the World Bank has stark messages for us all. It says that urgent action is still needed if we are to avoid significant temperature changes which would have devastating consequences.

For example, a rise of 5 degrees centigrade would cause heatwaves throughout the world, less rain followed by droughts in many areas of the world and possibly, the total disappearance of the West Antarctic icesheet which could cause a rise of six metres in global sea level.

The report outlines the countries most at risk, the problems for poor and disadvantaged areas and probable mortality rates arising from temperature rises.
You can find out more in the full report here




  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: