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For millions of years, temperate forests have provided food and shelter for people. Now, we are tearing them down like hooligans, just for money. They are disappearing even faster than the rainforests!

Russia has always been called a country of forests. You can find the description in many books, but you should see it. It is beautiful in all seasons. In winter it is like a white fairy tale. Everything is covered with snow. All the trees are white and only fir trees and pine trees are green. In summer the forest is a bright canvas of colours and a beautiful symphony of birds singing. I know that people need things made out of wood but how can we live without this beauty?
Taraskina Anya, Russia
click picture to enlarge
Picture: Florencia Ferreyra, Argentina

Chipko means "to hug" in an Indian language. In 1730, a Jodhpur Maharaja ordered woodcutters to fetch wood from the Bishnoi region. Bishnois abhor killing – even of trees.Women and the elderly protected the trees by hugging them. 363 Bishnois were killed by the king’s loggers before they gave up. Almost 250 years later, the saga was repeated when villagers from Gopeshwar, Uttar Pradesh confronted loggers from a sports goods factory in March 1973, who planned to consume the lovely lush forests on which their lives depended. The villagers rushed to the forests shouting "Chipko! Chipko!" and hugged the trees, daring the loggers to let their axes fall on their backs. These loggers were terrified by them and fled! Thus began one of the world’s most famous non-violent conservation movements, the Chipko movement.
B.I.Blah, Shillong, India

Prayer of the Tree
On cold nights I am
the heat of your hearth,
I screen you from the sun
with friendly shade
I give people fruits and flowers
As you thirst, my fruits refresh you
I am the beam that holds your house,
The board of your table,
the bed you lie on
The timber that builds your boat
and from which you get furniture.
I am the hands of your hoe,
And the door of your homestead.
The wood of your cradle and the shell
of your coffin.
Samuel Alodina, Ghana

We, the children of today, must demand that laws are passed to control the rate at which forests are cut to ensure that some forest remains for the future.
Richard Buobo Mesco, Uganda

As the last ice age receded, plants began to grow and animals arrived in Ireland. People arrived about 7,000 years ago to find a country covered in woodlands of ash and elm with alder and willow in wet places, oak and holly on acid soil, pine and birch on the mountains. Slowly forests were cleared for farms, houses, ships and for fuel. By 1920, only 0.5% of the country had forest left. Alarmed, the Irish government started to plant trees. Our planted woodlands contain spruce, larch, fir and pine. There is now over 7% of the country covered with forest. Forestry is very important for our economy and provides much employment.
Togher National School,
West Cork, Ireland

web site editor: webmaster@grida.no Last update: March 2000