High level of deforestation continues 大規模森林砍伐活動仍在繼續

667

2018 年,全球熱帶地區約有 1200 萬公頃森林消失,相當於每分鐘有 30 個足球場的面積。儘管這與 2016 年、2017 年相比,速度有所下降,但仍是自 2001 年有記錄以來,森林面積減少率第四高。《隨身英語》討論大面積砍伐森林對生態環境造成的影響。

Vocabulary: the environment 詞彙: 環境

We are all aware of the threats our planet is facing. Experts agree that it’s mainly us humans who are responsible for the destruction of the environment. Activities such as mass farming and burning fossil fuels are taking their toll on our climate – and we’re suffering too through natural disasters such as flooding and more frequent droughts.

One of the most destructive activities we are carrying out is cutting down forests – deforestation. This is done for many reasons, such as providing wood for fuel, making land available for housing or for creating space for more cattle to graze on. This has been most noticeable in Brazil, which is home to the world’s largest rainforest. Deforestation there has hit its highest rate in a decade, according to official data. Over the course of a year, an area about five times the size of London has been destroyed.

The amount of deforestation in the Amazon and in other tropical regions has actually seen a decline but the figures are still large. Global Forest Watch say that in 2018, an area equivalent to 30 football fields were cut down every minute. Frances Seymour from the World Resources Institute says that 「If you look back over the last 18 years, it is clear that the overall trend is still upwards. We are nowhere near winning this battle.”

What’s special about places like the Amazon is that they are primary forests which exist in their original condition with some species of trees dating back thousands of years. This habitat is home to unique and rare animals and is critical for sustaining biodiversity. The BBC’s environment correspondent, Matt McGrath, says 「These old forests really matter as stores of carbon dioxide, which is why the loss of 3.6 million hectares in 2018 is concerning.」

Brazil has taken some steps to try and decrease deforestation by introducing government policies including fines for breaking land use regulations and clamping down on illegal logging. And International campaigns to stop the trade of soy and beef farmed on deforested parts of the Amazon have also had a significant impact. But meanwhile other parts of the world, such as Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are seeing dramatic increases. So it seems only political will and human conscience will tackle this problem and save planet Earth.

詞彙表

destruction 破壞
mass farming 大規模農耕活動
fossil fuel 化石燃料
take its toll on something 對…造成破壞
natural disaster 自然災害
drought 乾旱
destructive 破壞性的
deforestation 大面積砍伐森林
rainforest 熱帶雨林
tropical 熱帶的
primary forest 原始森林
original condition 初始、原始狀態
species (動植物的)物種
habitat (動植物的)棲息地
home to 為…的所在地
sustain 維持
biodiversity 生物多樣性
logging 伐木
conscience 良知、良心

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What kinds of natural disaster is human activity contributing to?

2. What has been destroyed that has an area five times the size of London?

3. How might stopping soy and beef farming prevent deforestation?

4. True or false? One thousand-year-old trees can be found in primary forests.

5. Which expression in the article means ‘taking strong action to stop people doing something bad
or illegal’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. All those late nights studying and drinking coffee have ______ on Neil – he looks exhausted!

taken tolls               taken their toll                   taken his toll                   take a toll

2. Our flight was cancelled because a volcano erupted, but our insurance company won’t pay out because it’s a ______.

trend                       destruction                        natural disaster                tropical

3. I’ll leave it to your ______ to make the right decision – you know what’s best for the company.

conscience              conscious                          convenience                    conchience

4. My safari holiday was amazing! It was great to see wild animals in their natural ______.

rainforest                habitat                                tropical                             biodiversity

5. Because of this summer’s ______, a number of crops have died. There could be a food shortage.

destruction              deforestation                      logging                            drought

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What kinds of natural disaster is human activity contributing to?
Floods and droughts.

2. What has been destroyed that has an area five times the size of London?
Over the course of a year, an area of the Amazon rainforest, about five times the size of London, has been destroyed.

3. How might stopping soy and beef farming prevent deforestation?
It’s likely, less forest will be cut down to create space for cattle and growing soy crops.

4. True or false? One thousand- year-old-trees can be found in primary forests.
True. Places like the Amazon are primary forests which exist in their original condition with some species of trees dating back thousands of years.

5. Which expression in the article means ‘taking strong action to stop people doing something bad or illegal’?
Clamping down. 『Brazil has taken some steps to try and decrease deforestation by introducing government policies including fines for breaking land use regulations and clamping down on illegal logging.』

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. All those late nights studying and drinking coffee have taken their toll on Neil – he looks exhausted!

2. Our flight was cancelled because a volcano erupted, but our insurance company won’t pay out because it’s a natural disaster.

3. I’ll leave it to your conscience to make the right decision – you know what’s best for the company.

4. My safari holiday was amazing! It was great to see wild animals in their natural habitat.

5. Because of this summer’s drought, a number of crops have died. There could be a food shortage.