Organic farming and sustainable forestry both utilize methods that are designed to pull resources from the Earth with as little effect to the environment as possible. Conventional farming and forestry methods have the potential to take a real toll on the immediate location as well as the surrounding areas.
How Organic Farming and Sustainable Forestry Preserve Biodiversity
Both organic farming and sustainable forestry attempt to utilize natural resources while having as little an impact on the environment as possible. Environmental impact goes beyond merely altering the land in order to use it for farming or to pull lumber and other materials out of the area. In order to farm land or retrieve wood there has to be some change to the land, whether the change has a positive or a negative effect on the land and surrounding areas.
Organic farming and sustainable forestry principals also attempt to maintain the biodiversity of the areas used. The point is to allow the plants, animals, insects, and every other living organism within the area to still thrive despite the nearby farming and forest cultivation.
Many people don't realize that farming and forestry efforts can have a huge effect on the ecosystem within the local area and beyond. Alteration of even a small area can fundamentally change the way local organisms attain food, find shelter, and breed.
Working with the local environment instead of against it can result in productive crops while also allowing the ecosystem to thrive.
Organic farming involves the use of natural remedies instead of potentially harmful pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. Organic farming additionally features:
- No unnecessary antibiotics for livestock
- A history of organic practices to ensure the lack of harmful chemicals within the soil
- No genetically modified organisms
Organic farming is also designed to be more environmentally friendly than conventional farming. Farmers try to have as little an impact on the land as possible. For example, powerful chemical pesticides have the potential to not only alter the soil and infiltrate food sources for local organisms, but these pesticides can also make their way into the local water system. Once these chemicals reach a water source they have the potential to spread far and wide.
Farms that operate under organic practices also rotate crops and planting schedules in order to give the land an appropriate amount of time to recover from the previous crop. This ensures that the land stays fertile while also having a much smaller impact on the environment than planting the same crop year after year would have.
Environmental experts are constantly discovering new negative effects on surrounding forest ecosystems as a result of conventional logging and other forestry practices. When an entire section of a forest is completely eradicated, it's impossible for it to not have long-lasting effects on the entire forest.
For example, animals living within the eradicated area have to move on to other areas within the forest, encroaching upon the natural habitat of other animals and changing the delicate balance of the area.
Sustainable forestry involves many different approaches that are designed to lessen the impact of forestry activities:
- Trees are removed in a fashion that does not completely empty the area of trees.
- Soil is allowed to receive valuable nutrients from tree debris.
- Replanting is systematic and designed to encourage re-growth.
Sustainable forestry is oftentimes a more expensive method for obtaining wood, paper, and other tree products. The benefits, however, outweigh the costs. Forests are allowed to thrive, local organisms are able to flourish, and the odds of the area growing trees in the future are increased.
If you want to purchase products that result from organic farming or sustainable forestry, look for labels on the products that designate them as organic or resulting from sustainable forestry. This will usually be prominently displayed somewhere on the product because although these products may cost more, they are sought-after by many consumers.