Climate Change As A Result Of Deforestation
In today’s world, human activities induced primarily by the developmental motivations have had immense amount of negative effects on Mother Nature. Clearance of forest trees in order to create space for agriculture, buildings, roads, bridges and an increased dependence on machineries for the daily activities of life have led to the degradation of nature. This Policy Brief is thus addressed to the United Nations Organization’s initiative, the REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), in form a letter to address the issue of climate change as a result of Deforestation and an increase in the carbon foot-print. The chosen organization deals with the specific issue and it is being expected that the organization shall be helping with regard to coming up with some policy decision based on the inputs and recommendations provided in this policy brief so that the menace could be prevented. In the following sections, the description of the issue, the effects it has, and the alternative policy decision that could be undertaken shall be provided.
The issues which have been chosen as the areas to thrust at in this policy brief is primarily that of deforestation and its effects on the changes in the climate. Like all other developed nations of the world, Australia too is one of the major drivers of the negative change that in climate that is occurring due to Deforestation.
Australia is a home to a wide variety biodiversity and unfortunately due to deforestation, a substantial amount of it has been either lost to extinction, or are under the threat of getting wiped away from the face of the earth soon. Out of 1250 species of plants, an overwhelming amount of 964 out of it has been put under the threat of endangerment, and out of 390 species of animals 286 have been made to embrace the same fate, as per the current findings of the year 2018. Hence it is very clear that the depletion of the Coral Reef is not the only environmental issue that affects Australia. Australia has lost almost 40 percentages of its forests which form natural habitats to the wide range of terrestrial flora and fauna of the country. Even the remaining bit of the natural biodiversity is at risk of getting lost since it has lost its density due to illegal cutting of trees for the purpose of construction and expansion of urbane space.
The rate of deforestation in Australia is at around 0.19 percentages and that is leading to a loss of about 325,900 hectares of forested land each year, which is way more than what it used to be in the years before the onset of the 21st century. An estimated 3 million hectares of forest cover in Australia is under the threat of getting cleared by 2030 as per the reports provided. Unfortunately, the government has sanctioned the project.
Queensland region of Australia is the most vulnerable regarding deforestation as the activity happens rampantly over there. Of the total depletion of nature that happens all over the world, Australia claims a share of 8 percentage of the total, and on top of that it is also one of the countries to generate one of the highest amount of greenhouse gases of the world which accounts up to 1.8 percentage of the total emission of the world . This goes as far as the rate of depletion which Australia is contributing to in the world, and an overview of the issues which this policy brief is harping upon. It is thus very commonsensical to assume that the rate of global warming in the world shall definitely be increasing as no signs of it getting reduced is not visible.
Importance of the Issues with regard to whom it affects
There is no doubt about the fact that the negative effects of climate change shall be affecting Australia, but given the global nature of such changes, the world in entirety gets affected by it and especially the poorer countries who lack the basic infrastructural facilities to meet the day to day requirements. On top of that if an added share of burden is dumped on the shoulder of the less affluent nations, then that shall deter them further from developing themselves.
One of the very direct effects of deforestation is the rise in global as well as the local temperature of the area. Meteorologists have provided an estimation that the mean annual temperature of Australia has risen by 1.8 degrees Celsius, making certain parts of the country almost inhabitable. That has also caused the level of salinity in soil to increase up to 7 percentage. The increase in the number of concretized buildings couple with a decrease in the green cover has made the situation worse. Concretized structures have this tendency to absorb the atmospheric heat during the day time and release them during the night thereby making both day and night equally stuffy and uncomfortable. This is also driving the people of the country to increase their dependence on air conditioning facilities which is increasing the rate of release of CFCs. As it is the South Pole of the Earth is vulnerable the brunt of ultra violet rays more than any part of the world, because the formation of the hole in the ozone layer. Naturally, the situation shall be depreciating further.
As it has already been mentioned that it is the poorer nations who have to face the consequences of the harmful activities of the affluent nations. The Pacific Islands in vicinity to Australia are at great risk of the occurrence of Tsunamis and storms due to the increasing rate of global warming. That is not just affecting their livelihood, majority of whom are engaged in fishing, but at the same time is also a cause of life and property in those tiny territories. Some islands are so tiny that a violent storm can engulf the entire land space with its wrath. This goes as far as the section of the population which is getting affected by the ill effects of the issues.
Recommendations to the Policy Decisions on the Issue
Australia currently has no strict policy on environmental protection, hence the drafting of this policy brief is aimed at bringing about some policies which shall be effective enough to deal with the current scenario. There are provisions which deal with the issues of carbon emission, pollution and release of greenhouse gases, but there are no provisions which deal with deforestation. Moreover there are no such policies which restrict the private sector from indulging in business practices which shall be harmful for the climatic conditions. Hence, the recommendations provided below must be implemented. Adequate measures to hold the private companies responsible for any loss to biodiversity.
Australia must be made to comply with the norms drafted for the conservation of nature on a global basis. Mass awareness programs and more power to the civil society organizations must be provided along with some amount of funds in order to stop such surreptitious practices.
From the recommendations it becomes very clear that the Realist Theory of International Relations shall not be very beneficial in the implementation of the policy decisions as it advocates that states be in a constant state of rivalry with each other to assert their power over the others. These recommendations can only be implemented if the Liberalism and the Constructive theories of International Relations are stressed upon. Liberal theory is needed as the issue requires cooperation, not conflict, whereby states shall be cooperating with each other to deal with the issue of climate change which is global in nature. Constructivism calls for individuals and states working together in a peaceful and persuasive ways for indulging some initiatives that shall be good for the society at large. Both the Liberal and the Constructive theories stress on collective action, and calls for liquidation of the dominance of states over matters of public importance emanating from a premise which seeks to stress more on a bottom-up approach than a top-down approach.
Having provided an overview of the climatic situations in Australia along with a mention of the requirements, it is hoped that the REDD+ shall be playing a proactive role in redeeming Australia and the world at large.
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