DEMAND FOR RUBBER THREATENS FOREST

DEMAND FOR RUBBER THREATENS FOREST

Rubber is one of the primary resources for human beings and according to new reports the demand is likely to overtake supply. It is estimated that almost half of the population use rubber for their daily activities, but its demand threatens our environment.

The global demand for rubber tires is threatening protected forest in Southeast Asia, according to a study which was released earlier this week.

Tropical forest are been cleared every now and then putting the lives of birds, bats and animals at risk and even human beings. Forests are useful in water catchment areas and they also help in absorbing carbon dioxide.

According to the research by 2024 up to 85 million hectors of new rubber plantation will be needed to meet the demand, this will greatly affect the wildlife and it will be catastrophic. Species such as the endangered white-shouldered Ibis, yellow-cheeked crested gibbon, and Clouded leopard could lose precious habitat, said the team of the school of environmental science at the University of East Anglia.

The rise of demand on tires for aero planes and cars will greatly affect the habitat of different species of birds and living things which are depending on the trees. Rubber cultivation can harm soil, water, and biodiversity. If the forest is converted from land to rubber species are likely to decline.

Dr. Mathew Struebig said that certification standards for the rubber industry are the key to protecting the forest. “There is a lot we can do as the scientist and the public to make rubber production more wildlife friendly,” he said.

The ways of making it friendly is by trying different methods like Agro- forest- mixing the rubber with other trees to retaining patches of natural vegetation along rivers or in a small conservation set-asides, he added.

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