Examples of mismanaged resources throughout History.

Apr 2019
109
Ireland
#1
In the last few days I have heard on local radio (Ireland) that forestry in this country as a percentage of the overall area stands at 11%. However further examination of these figures puts the area covered by forestry indigenous to this Island at 2%, the other 9% being made up by plantations of once alien forestry. Put simply this is quite shocking and well below the European average.

Are there examples from the past of how resources have been mismanaged, in some cases I imagine leading to pretty serious consequences?

Have any readers any examples like the one above currently?
 
Likes: Futurist
Nov 2018
289
Denmark
#2
Denmark is originally a deciduous forestland but in the early 1800s, only 3-4% of the forested area remained in Denmark.
Felling the forest led to sand drift, entire villages were wiped out and large parts of Jutland were covered by heath.
Now forest areas make up 13.5% and the goal is that 25% of the total area in Denmark must be covered by forest.
Of the total forest area, 40.4% are pure coniferous forests, 39.5% are pure deciduous forests, while 12.5% are mixed deciduous and coniferous forests.
The Danish forest law from 1805 requires that where there is forest in advance one cannot use the area for another purpose.
For example, if a storm clears the area for trees, the forest must be raised again.
 
Likes: Gisco
Apr 2019
109
Ireland
#3
Now forest areas make up 13.5% and the goal is that 25% of the total area in Denmark must be covered by forest.
It seems that there is at least some kind of plan in place for Denmark to have a more healthy balance of forestry, I will check our policy to see if we might have a rescue plan...
The Danish forest law from 1805 requires that where there is forest in advance one cannot use the area for another purpose.
For example, if a storm clears the area for trees, the forest must be raised again.
This seems very commonsensical, was this law introduced as a consequence of the sand drift wiping out the villages?
 
Nov 2018
289
Denmark
#4
This seems very commonsensical, was this law introduced as a consequence of the sand drift wiping out the villages?
No, the original law was introduced to become self-sufficient in timber for example for shipbuilding and fuel.
After the loss of the Danish fleet in 1807, oak trees were planted so that in the future one could build a new fleet.
The rumor goes that in the 1960s the Danish Forestry Administration sent a letter to the Danish Navy: The oak trees are ready for felling, should we start?
The law on the fight against sand drift was given already in 1792 where it was forbidden to destroy the grass that covered the dunes.
But cultivation of the heath and plantations to stop erosion first started in large quantity after the loss of Schleswig / Holstein in 1864.
 
Apr 2019
109
Ireland
#5
Iceland has forest cover of about 2%. It had reached a low of 0.5%. It has been estimated that in the latter half of the ninth century CE that Iceland had between 25% and 40% cover, however a continued influx of settlers resulted in extensive land clearance. Land erosion and sandstorms (yes - sandstorms) are among the consequences. Iceland set up the first Soil Conservation Service in 1907 and tree planting is part of this, resulting in the small rise to 2% mentioned above.
Deforestation in Iceland.
 
Nov 2016
41
Australia
#6
1. Easter Island = Rapa Nui

Growing up I thought this was one of those ‘unsolved mysteries’..... but turns out there were indigenous people living who gave an account of the environmental destruction.... by humans and rats probably..


2. The Entire Earth in the anthropocene. we are doomed.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,212
#7
Most eastern US states are majority forested and much of it was reforested in the last 50 years. It is no longer profitable to farm marginal land.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,614
#10
Portuguese in Brasil- the more research being done shows that much of Brasilian ecosystem was not understood by Europeans used to different climate and ecology and rather than adapting to what worked they pushed slash and burn plantation style for export economy crops rather than sustainable crops of which a healthy balance can be exported.

N Africa and parts of the Levant water gathering and distribution systems have been mismanaged so a large percentage of the lands that could grow crops or graze some animals are no arid and barely supported wandering herdspeople.
 

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