p. 11. Forests in human culture
- Jaboury Ghazoul
Forests have long had a strong hold on the collective conscience of humankind, conjuring various interpretations. These include forests as benign life-supporting habitats of great biotic richness, or places invested with sacred worth and aesthetic beauty, or perhaps economically valuable, resource-producing lands. ‘Forests in human culture’ considers the cultural history of forests and our changing attitudes to them. Society’s conflicted forest values remain today, and both conservation and clearance of tropical forests continue apace. Forests are an essential part of our future; our natural resources, Earth’s biodiversity, and the global climate depend on the security of forests. Yet the centrality of forests in our cultural and spiritual histories suggests that our losses will not be just economic.