BBC随身英语:大规模森林砍伐活动仍在继续

2018 年,全球热带地区约有 1200 万公顷森林消失,相当于每分钟有 30 个足球场的面积。尽管这与 2016 年、2017 年相比,速度有所下降,但仍是自 2001 年有记录以来,森林面积减少率第四高。《随身英语》讨论大面积砍伐森林对生态环境造成的影响。

Vocabulary: the environment 词汇: 环境

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.

词汇表

destruction 破坏

mass farming 大规模农耕活动

fossil fuel 化石燃料

take its toll on something 对…造成破坏

natural disaster 自然灾害

drought 干旱

destructive 破坏性的

deforestation 大面积砍伐森林

rainforest 热带雨林

tropical 热带的

primary forest 原始森林

original condition 初始、原始状态

species (动植物的)物种

habitat (动植物的)栖息地

home to 为…的所在地

sustain 维持

biodiversity 生物多样性

logging 伐木

conscience 良知、良心

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

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. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

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. 阅读课文并回答问题。

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. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

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.