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
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
is destroying the world's rainforests?
The driving forces behind rainforest loss are: agriculture, cattle raising, logging, oil and gas pipelines and
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
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.
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
- People have no
right to destroy the rainforests for their own purposes.
- Destroying the
forests may change the world's weather patterns.
- The loss of
the forests is causing serious environmental problems such as soil erosion
and water pollution.
- Wood products
on which the rest of the world depends may soon become scarce
and more expensive.
- Many migrating
birds common in North America depend on rainforest habitats;
loss of the rainforest may affect these species.
- Cultures of
the forests are losing their native lands. They have a right
to live where and how they want.
- There are many
rainforest plants and animals that could help scientists develop new crops,
medicines, and other products.
- The strange, exotic and
unique species found in rainforests are a source of inspiration
for many people.
- The forests
contain more than 50% of all plant and animals species in the
world. Destroying the forests will destroy these species
- 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.
rainforest destruction information:
Soybeans are the
cause of major rainforest destruction in one section of the
View the NASA
report on rainforest
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.