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Biodiversity / Biodevastation

Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.

Congo Basin Deforestation Threatens Food and Water Supplies Throughout Africa

Molly Bergen

Stretching across Central Africa, the Congo Basin is home to 80 million people who depend on it for everything from food to charcoal to medicinal plants. But they aren’t the only ones; the world’s second-largest rainforest also plays a role in regulating rainfall patterns across other parts of the continent. Its continued disappearance could exacerbate insecurity of freshwater and food supplies for some of Africa’s most vulnerable populations.

Why we can't just #PlantATree

Eleanor Goldfield

As environmental author and journalist Fred Pearce noted in an article in April, “there are growing concerns that the reforestation agenda is becoming a green cover for the further assault on ecosystems.” Be it the claim that planting a trillion trees will save us or the 2011 Bonn Challenge that promises to plant 1.35 million square miles of forest by 2030, the devil truly is in the details.

The GE American Chestnut – Restoration of a Beloved Species or Trojan Horse for Tree Biotechnology?

Rachel Smolker and Anne Petermann

About a century ago the American chestnut tree was attacked by the introduced fungal pathogen (Cryphonectria parasitica). This fungus drove the chestnut to functional extinction. Now, scientists at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) claim to have created, through biotechnology, a resistant American chestnut variety. They aim to petition the required regulatory agencies (USDA, FDA, EPA) for deregulation of their genetically engineered chestnut in the near future, with the stated goal of “restoring” the species to nature.


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