How The Rainforest is Being Developed
The rainforest ecosystem is under threat from destruction by humans.
Many countries and businesses want to take advantage and exploit the
resources of the forest. Many organisations want to develop the
rainforest as well.
The many reason for exploitations are:
Logging: Expensive wood such as mahogany is cut down by logging
companies and exported across the world.
[IMAGE]Cattle Ranching: Large areas of the forest have been cleared
for raising cattle, which can then be sold for their meat.
Roads & Buildings: Land in the forest needs to be cleared to make
space for industrial buildings, accommodation for the workers and for
building roads to get goods in and out of the region.
Mining: Many rainforests
have huge reserves of minerals such as gold,
iron ore and copper. These are used in industries throughout the
world. To get at these minerals, vast stretches of the forest must be
destroyed and mines
Mainly the rainforest
is used for resources, sometimes industries
might develop the rainforest but soon deforestation occurs and issues
What Are The Impacts Of Rainforest Development?
The destruction of the rainforest results in social and environmental
issues within the rainforest community. These are some of the facts of
what is happening to the rainforests:
Ø Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they
cover 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests
could be consumed in less than 40 years
Ø One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second
Ø Over 200,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day. That is over
150 acres lost every minute of every day, and 78 million acres are
lost every year!
Here are the impacts into the environment of rainforest demolition:
Change In Biodiversity: Removal of the forest causes loss of plant
species. Animals are forced out as their food supply and habitat are
destroyed. Many rainforest species have become extinct and others are
threatened because loss of habitat.
Change In Hydrology: Without trees the water cycle is disrupted.
Interception and transpiration are both reduced and the surface runoff
increases. Water and silt pour into rivers, making them flood.
Change In Soils: Without trees to protect it the soil is easily
eroded. Torrential rain removes nutrients via surface runoff and
leaching, and the soil becomes infertile. Surface runoff on the steep
slopes can cause gulleying and mud slides.
Change In Climate: Transpiration is reduced and evaporation increases.
This leads to a drier climate. Deforestation contributes to global
warming because trees use up carbon dioxide during photosynthesis.
Less forest means there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and
this leads to global warming.
If the trees are removed, the cycle is broken; the soil become
infertile; the rain-washes nutrients stored in the soil away; this is
called leaching. Removal of trees leaves the soil exposed, causing
erosion by wind or rain.
Deforestation has major impact on the environment. This is why many
organisations are trying to conserve what is left of the rainforest.
How Is The Rainforest Being Conserved?
Exploitation of resources such as tropical rainforests is leading to
destruction of the ecosystem. In the future the forests will not be
able to support local people. There are ways to conserve the
1. Sustainable logging is taking place in many areas. Once the tree is
cut down, another is planted.
2. [IMAGE]Areas of the rainforest have been designated as protected
areas, where no development can take place. These are called National
3. People have been educated about the importance of the rainforest
and consumers in MEDCs are given information about where the wood they
buy has come from.
4. In parts of the Amazon, mining companies are required to replant
trees once they have finished mining the area.
Many organisations have tried to conserve the rainforest and their
viewpoints have been expressed in to the public. Now the rainforest
will have an impact on the public so protests can happen to prevent
Main Groups Involved In The Rainforest Conflict
Many organisations have got involved into helping the rainforests
survive. This has lead to violent protests and sometimes there is a
result. Other organisations exploit the rainforests. The main groups
The Government: Exploiting the rainforest for extraction of oil,
settlements, logging and farming.
Huaorani Tribe: Traditional homeland, their lands are being taken away
and they want land rights and they have been fighting for 100 years.
Colonistas: Come from an illegal shantytown and they have been moved
by the government and have to pay for the land.
Maxus Energy: They have the right to extract oil from the national
park for 10 years bought from the government.
Rainforest Information Centre: This organisation is against all types
of deforestation. They do not permit oil extraction or logging e.t.c.
These people fight for the rainforest to be conserved they care for
the issues for the rainforests.
The organisations have tried to preserve the rainforest but at the end
of the day it is hard to fight against the government who are in
constant need of oil. The only topic that can help the rainforest is
How Is The Rainforest Being Sustainably Developed?
Sustainable development means using resources in a way that will allow
continued use in the future. It means being careful with the world's
natural resources and ecosystems but still enabling some development
to take place. These are the best sustainable forestry techniques:
Cabling: Most forestry is done by clear cutting, which is just
ploughing into the forest, cutting down lots of trees you don't want,
to get to the ones you do. Cabling is where you airlift out the trees
by helicopter, which reduces the amount of needless destruction.
Replanting: Replacing trees that are cut down, by planting new ones.
Zoning: Identifying areas for different uses. Different areas are set
up for different uses such as national parks or ecosystems.
Selective Logging: This I s a method used by small, environmentally
sound logging businesses. Only selected trees are chopped most trees
are left standing. Some of the best trees are left standing to
maintain a strong gene pool.
Additionally to these methods Maxus Energy tries to build pipe lines
under the tribes land to easy mining, this way trees wont be
destroyed. All these methods help reduce deforestation. They help us
keep the rainforests, so species can survive and plants can live
peacefully, without business or the government stealing things from