The top image is a photograph of a lush rainforest canopy. The bottom image colors each tree based on its species.

How? It’s all thanks to a special lab built by ecologist Greg Asner inside a twin-turboprop airplane. From a few thousand feet up, the Carnegie Airborne Observatory uses lasers, spectrometers and other instruments to build a detailed 3-D model of a forest, identify different species of vegetation and quantify carbon sequestration. It’s a lot quicker than tramping through the jungle and taking these measurements on foot.

A fun tidbit from the full story:
“On one occasion, he and his team mapped more than 6,500 square miles of the Colombian Amazon at night — about the size of Connecticut plus Rhode Island — flying with all their lights out to avoid being shot at by the FARC, the Colombian rebel force.

Images: Greg Asner, Carnegie Airborne Observatory

5

She spent two years in a tree to avoid being cut

The year was 1997 and a woman, who at the time was 23, decided to save Luna, a redwood tree 60 meters high and over 500 years. That December 10, Julia turned that tree in her home for two years, changing her life forever.

Over a thousand rings had the trunk of Luna when a chainsaw wanted to cut it through. Fortunately, the fate of this twisted tree. A young butterfly alighted on it and spent 738 days in its branches forcing the company Pacific Lumber to suspend cutting this and other forest trees from Stanford, California.

December 10th, 1997, Julia climbed the tree. Her new home was located now at 50 meters. In 3 square meters Julia placed everything she needed: a canvas, its walls; a small stove, the kitchen; a bucket with a sealed bag, bathroom and a sponge (to collect rainwater), her shower.

Her case became known in the world and eight days after they were fulfilled two years of her stay in the tree, Julia put her feet on earth.

The company assumed responsibility for environmental policy to include in future work that was performed.

Today, Julia is still involved in environmental commitments. She helped create the NGO “Circle of Life

10

British Invasion of the Congo

Although the Belgians Colonised the Congo,In 1911 they gave a British Man ; William Lever, a concession to develop large scale productions of Palm oil in the Congo.

In the book Lord Leverhulme’s Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo by Jules Marchal  the author states: “Leverhulme set up a private kingdom reliant on the horrific Belgian system of forced labour, a program that reduced the population of Congo by half and accounted for more deaths than the Nazi holocaust.Formal parliamentary investigations were called for by members of the Belgian Socialist Party, but despite their work the practice of forced labour continued until independence in 1960.

“Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.”

Jane Goodall (primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, UN Messenger of Peace, and overall beautiful ambassador of life on this planet)

Palm oil is a type of edible vegetable oil that is derived from the palm fruit, grown on the African oil palm tree. Oil palms are originally from Western Africa, but can flourish wherever heat and rainfall are abundant. Today, palm oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America, and South America, with 85% of all palm oil globally produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia; but most of the time not using sustainable measures.

The industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced, as the land and forests must be cleared for the development of the oil palm plantations. According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production. This large-scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction, and findings show that if nothing changes species like the orangutan could become extinct in the wild within the next 5-10 years, and Sumatran tigers less than 3 years. 

In total, 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually, supplying over 30% of the world’s vegetable oil production. This single vegetable oil is found in approximately 40-50% of household products in countries such as United States, Canada, Australia and England. Palm oil can be present in a wide variety of products, including baked goods, confectionery, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning agents, washing detergents and toothpaste.

Source: Say No To Palm Oil