Africa has already lost two-thirds of its ancient forests in the last thirty years, industrial logging threatens most of what remains. In as little as five to ten years Africa’s apes, the gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos, will disappear with the last undisturbed forest areas.
And France, by accepting timber from illegal and destructive sources, is also jeopardizing the development of legitimate trade in legal and environmentally and socially responsible timber.
Click here for the government’s response to date.
That five-to-ten-year time frame also applies to Orangutans in Asia. Is this the end? As I have said before, extinction in the wild is extinction, period. Zoos are just fleeting holding tanks for creatures that no longer have a place on our planet. The great apes are our closest remaining cousins and when they go, there will only be us and the monkeys. Shiver ….So, I need a positive suggestion to end this post.
What if, instead of dumping lumber onto stuffed gorilla suits for photo ops, ten million Americans out of our total population of 300 million paid five thousand dollars each to a single conservation fund over a five-year period (refundable if the goal is not met)? That would amount to about 100 dollars a month for each person, for a total of fifty billion dollars, which is twice the estimated amount needed to protect 70% of the biodiversity on the planet. It would be over with. The planet-wide extinction event would be halted in its tracks. We could call it the “50 billion-dollar fund” and every donor would get a free t-shirt. These shirts, being highly coveted, would of course eventually become collectibles, making the donors fabulously rich.