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Envirospeak: Rainforests

With Maggie Riddington.
Maggie is a regular columnist in the Warragul Citizen. Check out her latest column on September 28 2011 when Issue 2 of the Citizen is released.
This article was first published in Issue 1. (June 10 2011.)

The world’s rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate. Rainforests used to cover for 14 per cent of the world’s surface but due to extensive clearing they now cover a mere six per cent. Perhaps this is why 2011 has been declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations General Assembly.

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out where you fit when it comes to the environment, or to understand how it effects you. But the role of forests in the health of the earth and of us is an easy connection to make. The trees that make up the forests provide us with clean air and store the massive amounts of carbon that we are harmfully pumping into the atmosphere. Eighty per cent of the world’s biodiversity can be found in forests.

You have the chance to connect with these beautiful ecosystems. South-East of Warragul stands Mount Worth State Park, a Mountain Ash forest. South of Trafalgar is Tarra Bulga National Park, a breathtaking temperate rainforest made up of Mountain Ash, Myrtle Beech and tree ferns. You can join the friends groups that care for these parks and play your part in 2011, the Year of Forests.

For more information about the International Year of the Forests you can visit the United Nations Website; ww.un.org/en/events/iyof2011/. TWC

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