Global Conversations, a climate change blog with over 2.5 million likes on Facebook and more than 24,000 followers on Twitter, hosted the ECPA Week with two blogs on forestry conservation authored by Senior ECPA Fellows Paul Westbrook and Dr. Janaki R. R. Alavalapati. This digital collaboration between Global Conversations and the ECPA Clearinghouse aims to use social media outlets as means for educating, informing and raising awareness on pressing environmental issues that affect society as a whole, and for fostering civil participation and engagement.
In his blog, Paul Westbrook wrote about the importance of forests, which provide services so rich that it is almost impossible to assign a value to them. “We often place a price figure on forests that only includes the market value of the forest wood that can be harvested and sold. This is a classic case of not being able to see the forest for the trees”, wrote Westbrook, adding that “[w]e either ignore or don’t understand the value of the balance of services that a forest provides”. Dr. Alavalapati, whose blog was also about the importance of forests, highlighted that “forests play a key role in maintaining the ecological base for agricultural production by controlling water and wind erosion and by recycling vital nutrients back into the soil.” He added that, “[w]hile people have a greater understanding of these conventional societal and ecosystem benefits, the role of forests in mitigating climate change is not well understood.”
These blogs serve as an educational tool that connects youth, activists, environmentalists and minded citizens with a wide array of experts ranging from scientists to political leaders, to learn more about environmental issues worldwide.