There are a lot of issues with deforestation. However, for some nations around the world, logging jobs provide stable sources of income that might otherwise be unavailable. But now new research is taking a deeper look into the consequences of logging and asking, at what cost?
The recent study, which was published in Environmental Research Letters, comes from collaborating researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). It focuses on the impacts of logging in the Solomon Islands and its findings suggest that even in “best case scenarios,” when logging practices are as sustainable as possible, downstream water quality is negatively affected as a result of extensive soil erosion.
People in the Solomon Islands depend on freshwater sources for drinking, irrigation of crops, bathing, washing clothes, etc. The authors of the study are concerned that the high logging rate in the Solomon Islands is ultimately degrading the islands’ landscapes and ecosystems. Commercial logging makes up 18% of government revenue in the nation and at least 60% of exports.
"When land-clearing extent reached 40% in our models, international standards for safe drinking water were exceeded nearly 40 percent of the time, even if best practices […]