Wildlife Hero Rescues Over 200 Sloths
After 16 acres of forest were cleared for a cattle farm, Monique Pool found herself with more than 200 sloths in her care. Pool, the founder of Green Heritage Fund Suriname, often rescues displaced animals such as anteaters, porcupines and sloths before releasing them back into the wild. The recent surge of displaced animals has Pool worried about the rate of deforestation in Suriname.
"Sloths are an enormous potential for tourism. Just imagine if this land is develop into a sloth park instead of just to raise cattle", says Pool as she pointed out to the uprooted plants and felled trees across a deforested area.
Find out how Monique rescues and cares for the sloths in this video by Conservation International:
Deforestation is a harsh reality that not only robs Suriname but spans throughout the world. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 13 million hectares of forests globally are converted to other uses each year. Most often, the culprits of deforestation are illegal logging, expansion of farming areas or development of infrastructure projects such as hydroelectric dams, mining and gas and oil drilling.
Forests are more than just a group of trees - they are integrated ecosystems and home to multiple lives on Earth. When deforestation occurs, a chain of dynamics is affected. More carbon and greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere. The likelihood of damaging floods increases. Animals too are on the losing end since a loss of their habitats makes them vulnerable to extinction.
A prime victim of deforestation is the Brazilian Amazon. According to a finding by Greenpeace, between 2000 to 2010, the Amazon rainforest lost 20 million hectares - an area almost the size of United Kingdom. As the world's largest tropical rainforest, the Amazon provides more than 20% of the world's oxygen and it is home to a diversity of medicinal plants.
Fortunately, the Brazilian government recognizes the Amazon's incalculable value and has enforced strict policies from designating protected areas to tracking illegal deforestation in the Amazon via satellite images. Through these policies, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research has recorded a decline in deforestation with a 27 percent drop in 2012 as compared to the previous year.
While this indicates a promising future for the Amazon rainforest, you too can do your part in saving the world's forests.
What You Can Do
- Purchase Pool House Sloths - a sloth's perspective on Monique Pool's effort in rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wild sloths in Suriname. Proceeds from this book goes to Green House Fund Suriname and their good work with rescued sloths.
- Buy recycled wood or paper products
- Join Greenpeace in their goal to reach zero deforestation by 2020
- Support Rainforest Alliance by purchasing products that bears the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal. The organization links businesses that upholds rigorous sustainability standards to conscientious consumers
- Choose non-recycled wood products that bear a seal from a credible forestry certification system, like the Forest stewardship Council (FSC)