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October 20, 2016. Earth / A Geography of Hope

What is a Primary Forest?

Few natural environments engage the senses as powerfully as primary forests with their giant trees, dense vegetation and wild animals

Cyril F. Kormos, Russell A. Mittermeier, Tilman Jaeger, Brendan Mackey

Primary forests are ecosystems of great strength and resilience, a kind of super-organism supported by massive old trees that constantly adapt to changes resulting from natural disturbances such as fires, floods or tree falls.  At the same time they are fragile, and industrial activity can rapidly change their structure and composition, altering them in ways that are at worst irreversible and at best require decades or even centuries to recover from.

Given their enormous biological productivity, primary forests are essential for many local communities and indigenous people who live in or near them. They are nurturing places that provide shelter and essential resources, including food, medicinal elements and fresh water.

Primary forests are critical to the health of both people and the planet, and their continued degradation and loss threaten our well-being.

 

This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series Book “A Geography of Hope: Saving the Last Primary Forests” (2016)

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A Geography of Hope

Saving the Last Primary Forests

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