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Forests should be left alone to be saved

Posted June. 26, 2021 07:18,   

Updated June. 26, 2021 07:18


“Forests are similar to weak patients.”

This is how the German forest agency saw forests, as described by a writer who used to work at the agency. It was a mindset that experts’ help is needed to protect forests safely from diseases. This led to human involvement. The agency cut old trees, replaced them with younger ones, and sprayed pesticides to kill insects.

The writer who had worked as the forest manager of Land Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany for 20 years asks a fundamental question if the actions taken to protect nature are indeed for nature. He points that Germany’s forest policies lack a perspective of putting trees and living things of the forest at the center. He wants forests to breathe on their own without human interruption. Trees should coexist with microorganisms underground. Then, the course of nature where younger trees grow after older trees die should be respected.


The writer also criticizes that wind turbines and biomass for power generation, which are known as green energy, are indeed being developed at the expense of trees and forests. A large scale of logging is required to set up wind turbines in mountains. During the process, a large amount of carbon dioxide stored in the soil is released into the air. In addition, birds die from the wings of a wind turbine, and the habitats of the wildlife are destroyed. The writer who reports on the negative side-effects of green energy concludes that reducing energy consumption is the first priority.

Jae-Hee Kim jetti@donga.com