Deforestation

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Deforestation is a major global problem with serious consequences to the planet. These consequences have a negative effect on the climate, biodiversity, the atmosphere and threatens the cultural and physical survival of life. Deforestation is the permanent destruction of indigenous forests and woodlands. It has resulted in the reduction of indigenous forests to four-fifths of their pre-agricultural area, so that now indigenous forests cover only 21% of the earth's land surface. The world Resources Institute regards deforestation as one of the worlds most pressing land use problem. It is now so bad that every minute an area of forest equal to 20 football fields is lost. Rainforests cover less than 2 % of the Earth's surface, yet they are home to some 50 to 70 % of all life form on our planet. It has been stated that by the year 2010 the projected loss will be about a million species (that represents about 25% of the estimated diversity of life on Earth). Previous mass extinction's have occurred over millions of years rather than a few decades. The rainforests are the most richest, oldest, most productive and most complex ecosystems on earth and to provide the developed world with goods such as mahogany toilet seats and cheap beefburgers, rainforest destruction is occurring at a frightening rate. In less than 100 years time there may be no rainforests left, and the effects of this both on the gene pool of the planet and on its climate are as yet unknown. Only concerted conservation efforts by all parties, both the owners of the forests and the consumers of the developed world can prevent the long-term loss of this irreplaceable biome... ... middle of paper ... ... Cambridge, The Press Syndicate Publishers, 1984. Joy Tivy and Greg O' Hare, Human Impact On The Ecosystem, England, Oliver & Boyd Publishers, 1981. Robert Prosser, Human Systems and The Environment, Edinburgh, Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1992. Norman Law & David Smith, Problem-Solving Geography - Analysis In A Changing World, England, Stanley Thornes Publishers, 1993. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15 edition, Helen Hemingway Benton, London, 1974. Internet addresses: http://www.gem.co.za/enviro/3l.htm http://csab.wustl.edu/papers/environment/cllwp.htm http://www.ran.org/info center/rates.html http://epg.simplenet.com/Products/WhySaveRainForest.html http://epg.simplenet.com/Rainforce/index.html http://encarta.msn.com/schoolhouse/environ/envdang.asp http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm

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