Indonesia and the Congo are often singled out for being deforestation culprits. Often palm oil cultivation is blamed and the international environmental NGOs are quick to point their fingers at these areas where a good story can be told of emerging countries, weak laws, damage to local communities and bureaucratic incompetence.
But what happens when the culprit is from an advanced country and the main reason for the deforestation isn’t palm oil but the cattle industry? It would seem that apart from WWF the other NGOs that are usually very energetic about condemning deforestation have been rather slow to react.
Another piece of evidence that there is a Cowspiracy in the environmental protection industry?
Below is the story from the latest edition of The Economist:
MOST deforestation takes place in poor countries. In richer places, trees tend to multiply. Australia is an unhappy exception. Land clearance is rampant along its eastern coast, as farmers take advantage of lax laws to make room for cattle to feed Asia. WWF, a charity, now ranks Australia alongside Borneo and the Congo Basin as one of the world’s 11 worst “fronts” for deforestation.
The worst damage occurs in the north-eastern state of Queensland, which has more trees left to fell than places to the south, where agriculture is more established. It has been responsible for over half of Australia’s land clearance since the 1970s. Its bulldozers are at present busier than they have been for a decade. They erased 395,000 hectares of forest, including huge tracts of ancient vegetation, between 2015 and 2016—the equivalent of 1,000 rugby pitches a day. As a share of its forested area, Queensland is mowing down trees twice as fast as Brazil.