The world’s forests are in serious trouble and unsurprisingly, humans are to blame. Although these lush, ancient green spaces provide us with the oxygen that we need to survive, we treat forests like they are nothing more than a commodity for us to destroy and exploit. Every minute an area of forest the size of 20 football fields is leveled for human use and it has been estimated that if this continues, there won’t be any rainforest left in the next 100 years. Considering that around 31 percent of the world’s surface is covered with forest, this statistic is nothing short of disturbing.
By compromising the future of the world’s forests, we are compromising our own future as well as those of every other living species on the planet. With this in mind, we have an enormous responsibility to end the damage that is being wrought on forests and actively work to restore the forests that have been slashed and burned for our use. Luckily, there is hope.
Just take this incredible story for example. In the Nayagarh district of India’s eastern Odisha state, a group of women are working to uphold the 2012 amendment to India’s Forest Rights Act (FRA) that enables tribal villagers to claim titles to their land, and subsequently carve out a simple life, and a sustainable future for their children.
In Odisha, women have risen up as leaders of the efforts to protect native…