The world desires wood; the timber industry is here to supply it. An increasing human population desires food; farmers are here to supply it. How can the demands for farmland, wood and wood products be reconciled with the preservation of forests? Most deforestation, as has been pointed out, results from exploitation of forests to generate foreign exchange or to provide subsistence. This means that rainforests can only be saved by finding alternatives to subsistence goods (food, materials for construction, fuels) taken from rainforests, by providing alternatives to current export goods, and by using forest products sustainably.

Many solutions to the problem of tropical rain forest loss have been proposed, but it will take a combination of many actions to slow the destruction of tropical rainforests. There is disagreement about how forests might best be preserved, and how to reconcile the need for forest products with the need for conservation. Formerly, protection of old-growth forests by keeping them intact was the preferred model. More recently, in the 1980’s, the concept of forest dynamism and the potential for regeneration was ascendant. Now that so much forest has disappeared, stress has been laid on the ability of fragments, logged forests and second-growth forests to conserve at least some biodiversity. Since it seems impossible to keep humans away from forests, we must discover ways to preserve them in conjunction with some human activities. What are some means which can be used to save rainforests?

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