Forests are essential for life on earth. They contain 80% of all known species that dwell on land. The FAO states that "19 percent of the carbon in the earth's biosphere is stored in plants." Sixty million indigenous people rely on forests to survive. And they are quickly disappearing.
Deforestation is estimated to contribute to 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions, up to 20%, according to some sources. Trees are being lost to the mining, logging, and cattle ranching industries. We are losing forests at an incredibly alarming rate: 18.7 million acres a year, according to the World Wildlife Fund. But a California proposal may help reverse this damage.
California has proved to be a major leader when it comes to addressing environmental concerns. Because of its major problems, such as pollution, it had taken steps in the past to tighten restrictions on carbon emissions, and California is now known to other states and even other countries for its aggressive environmental policies. Its carbon offset programs are considered international models for standing up against climate change and global warming. California has such a large legislative influence, which is why it should endorse the Tropical Forest Standard.
It was originally proposed by the Air Resources Board. It aims to cut down on carbon emissions from deforestation and incentivize forest land retention. More than the positive effect it would have on problems within the state, it would serve as an immensely important and symbolic step towards enforcing practical, quantifiable systems to globally face deforestation and the broader issue of environmental justice.
Please add your name to this petition urging California's State Legislature, governor Gavin Newsom, and California Air Resources Board to take action to endorse the California Tropical Forest Standard.