Rainforest destruction

 Rainforest Destruction

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Rainforest Destruction


The world's rainforests are being destroyed at a mind-boggling rate. This purpose of this section is to expose what is going on, and to inform people of what they can do to help stop the destruction.

Rainforest DestructionWhy is rainforest destruction so severe?  Rainforest trees typically have very large canopies, and the loss of only a few trees can lay an entire acre bare.  Once these areas are cleared, most animals move on, starting a collapse of the ecosystem.

How bad is it? Unless conservation efforts in the tropics are intensified, most rainforests will disappear early next century.  We lose 50 million acres of rainforest per year -- about a football field per second.

 What is destroying the world's rainforests? The driving forces behind rainforest loss are: agriculture, cattle raising, logging, oil and gas pipelines and plantations.   Often, a single road will expose deep parts of the forest to slash-and-burn farming by new settlers.  When an area can no longer provide food, usually due to topsoil erosion from this unsustainable farming practice, settlers move on to burn a new plot.  According to a report by Friends of the Earth, as much as 80 percent of global rainforest destruction is caused by conversion of forests into agricultural land.

Rainforest Road


Where is it occurring? The worst destruction is in Brazil, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia, but there is also widespread forest clearing in other parts of South America and Mexico.

Rainforest Destruction

Why save the rainforests?  The rainforest is home to over fifty percent of all plants and animals on earth. It is the earth's living lungs--it breathes in carbon dioxide and breathes out oxygen. Some rainforests are an unexplored frontier, with all kinds of new animals and even new tribes of people. The National Wildlife Federation in 1993 listed ten reasons why we should save the rainforests:

  1. People have no right to destroy the rainforests for their own purposes.
  2. Destroying the forests may change the world's weather patterns.
  3. The loss of the forests is causing serious environmental problems such as soil erosion and water pollution.
  4. Wood products on which the rest of the world depends may soon become scarce and more expensive.
  5. Many migrating birds common in North America depend on rainforest habitats; loss of the rainforest may affect these species.
  6. Cultures of the forests are losing their native lands. They have a right to live where and how they want.
  7. There are many rainforest plants and animals that could help scientists develop new crops, medicines, and other products.
  8. The strange, exotic and unique species found in rainforests are a source of inspiration for many people.   
  9. The forests contain more than 50% of all plant and animals species in the world. Destroying the forests will destroy these species forever.
  10. There is still so much to discover within the rainforest, even a possible cure for cancer.  We can't destroy what nature has given to us.

Miscellaneous rainforest destruction information:

Rainforest DestructionSoybeans are the cause of major rainforest destruction in one section of the Amazon  more...

View the NASA report on rainforest destruction

MSU has a fantastic site loaded with tons of deforestation  facts and information

Links to other sites profiling rainforest destruction:

So, how is this generation going to leave the world?  Red Jellyfish has several ways that you can help save the rainforests.



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