Guardians of Biodiversity, Stewards of our Climate
Jonathan Foley

What a great and timely article! I’m glad CAS is stepping forward with ‘Big Ideas’ to further the general publics’ knowledge of rainforests.

One sentence in this piece troubles me: ‘Healthy tropical forests deliver many benefits to society, first by providing essential goods — including food, feed, fiber, forest products, freshwater, hydroelectric power, minerals, pharmaceuticals, and many other natural resources.’

Obviously the rainforests are extremely valuable assets to societies world wide but I’d wish you hadn’t included ‘hydroelectric power and minerals. Damns worldwide and in rainforest in particular are extremely destructive to indigenous peoples and the environment. Minerals mining is mostly illegal, produces terrible waste products and enslaves hundreds if not thousands of local people. Can you find another way to phrase that ‘benefit’ so as not to seemingly lighten the damage that is caused? I’m not sure food and feed should be included either but I can see a possible good side of these other than over-grazing of cattle and deforestation caused by soy feed farms.

Thanks, Jim

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