We will love only what we understand.
Above, a truck makes it way along a new road, after the earlier road right was washed out by Hurricane Cesar. Photo Courtesy of Dr. Foods such as tomatoes, peppers, corn, rice, coconuts, bananas, coffee, cocoa, tapioca, beans, and sweet potatoes all originally came from the rain forest.
Many civilizations have exploited the timber in rain forests and cleared the land for farms. Some preliterate tribes have actually lived in the rain forests for thousands of years. Today people rely on tropical rain forests for a variety of everyday products: Destructive Activities Unfortunately, human activities have taken a toll on the rain forest.
Some of the most-destructive practices are discussed below. In some areas of the world, the practice of shifting cultivation has destroyed parts of the forest. In this type of farming, a farmer clears an area of the forest, plants crops for two or three seasons, and then moves on to a new area of the forest.
This can lead to a slow, progressive deforestation of the area. In many parts of the world, this type of farming has increased as people move out from overcrowded cities to farm small patches of land. On the island of Java, the forest has been almost totally cleared and replaced with rice fields or plantations of such crops as rubber.
Commercial farming practices, which clear even larger areas of land, can also quickly lead to rain-forest destruction. Cattle ranching also poses a danger to rain forests.
In some parts of the world, entire forests are cleared to create pastures for grazing. In recent years, the demand for exotic woods found in the rain forest has increased dramatically.
This has led to the destruction of forests in Brazil, Central America, and Malaysia, and has endangered temperate rain forests in British Columbia and Alaska. In Alaska, loggers in the Tongass National Forest have cut down more than 1 million acreshectares of virgin rain forest.
But a federal court ruled in April that the U.
Forest Service must consider designating more wilderness areas in the Alaskan rain forest. This decision may help to slow the rate at which trees are currently being depleted there.
Mining, too, is a problem. Rain-forest soils can be rich in iron, bauxite the raw material for aluminumor other minerals, but mining operations can destroy the rain forest in the search for these minerals.
Finally, wars, natural disasters, and construction projects such as for dams and roadways may destroy the forest. Destruction Aftermath The effects of rain-forest destruction are far-reaching, and in many cases are impossible for scientists to assess and to predict.
Because the soil in most rain forests is relatively infertile to begin with, once the plant layer is removed, the soil can quickly lose virtually all of its ability to support plant life.
Some soils turn into a type of hard clay called laterite. Removal of a rain forest's vegetation can also lead to extensive erosion, as the soil, without plants to anchor it, is quickly washed away by rain and wind. Destruction of the rain forests also limits biodiversity.
As stated earlier, scientists believe that rain forests contain three-fourths of all the known species of plants and animals on Earth. Rain forests may also contain many species that have yet to be discovered, some of which could have medicinal value. Pharmaceutical companies are rushing to search rain forests for any undiscovered species of plants that might be useful in treating diseases.
Rain forests play a role in the world's climate. They help regulate Earth's hydrologic water cycle, the process whereby water that evaporates from trees and plants falls back to Earth as rain.
When a forest is destroyed, the cycle is changed. The result may be droughts, floods, and soil erosion in areas that would not normally experience such events. When forests are destroyed, the ability of the surface of Earth to reflect light also changes.
This, in turn, alters the patterns of rainfall, and wind and ocean currents.Deforestation- Its Causes and Impacts 1. Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land and related ecosystems, where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use.
Deforestation of tropical rainforests has a global impact through species extinction, the loss of important ecosystem services and renewable resources, and the reduction of carbon sinks.
However, this destruction can be slowed, stopped, and in some cases even reversed. Most people agree that the problem must be remedied, but the means are not as simple as fortifying fences around the remaining.
Abstract The worldwide concern with deforestation of Brazilian Amazonia is motivated not only by the irreversible loss of this natural wealth, but also by the perception that it is a destructive process in which the social and economic gains are smaller than the environmental losses.
Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years. We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. The symposium is titled "Biofuels, Tropical Deforestation, and Climate Policy: Key Challenges and Opportunities." She will participate in a press conference at 12 p.m.
CT on the same day.
The Tropical Forestry Action Plan was conceived in by the World Resources Institute in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank with hopes of halting tropical forest destruction.